The Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor is tasked with enforcing child labor laws. States also conduct their own enforcement efforts. In both cases though, a relatively small number of investigators are asked to police millions of employers.

Call center pays $500K for employing children

OREM, UTAH — A Utah-based company that operates call centers in seven states has paid $500,000 in civil penalties for child-labor violations.

The U.S. Department of Labor cited Orem-based Western Wats Center Inc. for employing children too young to work and allowing children to work longer hours than allowed by law. The penalty was among the highest of its kind ever assessed against a U.S. company. The company said it settled the complaint amicably and that many of the violations were technical. It said it was working to improve internal controls before it was under a government investigation a year ago. Read more