Fines Lodged Over Improper Teen Work At Bozrah Poultry Plant

Matt Dwyer
November 19, 2019 - 11:16 am

File photo of chickens. (Photo by Axel Schmidt/Getty Images)

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(WTIC-AM) -- Two-hundred and seventy thousand dollars in fines are being lodged against two companies accused of providing teenage workers at a poultry plant in Bozrah.

The state Labor Department says some of the workers at Hillandale Farms were as young as 14. 

Following up on a tip, investigators went to the plant the night before Halloween. 

They saw a group of young people dropped off after the regular employees went home for the night.

Although people under 16 are allowed to work on farms, the labor department said the teens were improperly classified as being independent contractors.

The teenagers did not work for Hillandale Farms. 

They were hired by two other companies that provided labor at the plant. 

Five Brothers 1 of Pennsylvania is being fined $180,600.

Massachusetts-based Whitmore Poultry is being penalized $90,000.

By misclassifying the teenagers as independent contractors, the employers avoided paying for workers compensation insurance, taxes, and unemployment insurance.