Quincy, Illinois-December 4, 2012-R.L. Brink, Corp., a Quincy area construction contractor, admitted to hiring a minor to perform work on a large-scale road reconstruction project in Mt. Sterling, Illinois, according to the US Dept. of Labor(USDOL).
The $2.7 million project was started during the summer of 2010, and was completed in the summer of 2011. Ronald L. Brink, President of R.L. Brink Corp., admitted to hiring a 16 year-old Mt. Sterling resident to perform traffic surveillance on the project during non-working hours. Traffic surveillance consists of making sure that all warning signs, barricades and flashing lights are in the proper position, are functioning and are serving to warn drivers that they are in a construction zone and to be aware of the hazards present. This duty is the responsibility of the contractor and is usually assigned to a worker or workers on the project. Child labor laws, which fall under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), generally prohibit anyone under the age of 18 from being employed in an occupation that requires driving a motor vehicle to perform the job they were hired to do. USDOL regulations classify the operation of a motor vehicle within a construction zone as a hazardous occupation and prohibit the hiring of anyone under the age of 18 to perform that type of work.
The teenager stated that he was hired to drive up and down the construction site on the highway on a stretch of road that extended ½ to ¾ of a mile to assure that the construction security barrels had not been knocked over and that the lights were still in operation. According to his statement to USDOL, he was additionally required to do this every 4 hours for up to 3 times per night. According to Illinois Department of Transportation Records, this occurred anywhere from 9 pm to 6 am from June 29 through September 24, 2010. The teenager also stated that he listed his correct age on his employment application. Brink admitted that he hired the teenage but that he was not aware he was a minor.
Penalties associated with violating the child labor section of the FLSA can be as high as $10,000 per violation as well as imprisonment. The FLSA was enacted in 1938 and defines working hours, overtime, child labor, as well as other conditions of employment.
Documentation from USDOL along with their consent findings may be viewed at www.wilcin.com.
R.L. Brink, Corp. is a Quincy based construction firm engaged in asphalt paving, concrete work and excavating and is located at 4400 North 24th Street in Quincy.
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