PUBLIX SUPER MARKETS SETTLES CHILD LABOR CASE
LAKELAND, Fla., Aug. 16 /PRNewswire/ -- Publix Super Markets, Inc., headquartered in Lakeland, Fla., and the U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division have announced a resolution of recent investigations by the Department of Publix stores in Florida. Under Section (2) of the Agreement, Publix admits that in spite of "its corporate policy and past efforts to prevent violations, a significant number of violations of the child labor law have occurred." Therefore, Publix has voluntarily agreed to pay a $500,000 penalty to resolve issues concerning violations of federal child labor law, such as working hours not permitted and using prohibited equipment. Mark C. Hollis, president of Publix Super Markets said, "We take violations
like this very seriously not only because it's the law but because our young people are important to us. They are the future of Publix. We are taking appropriate measures to ensure that our managers emphasize the policies on minors in the workplace for all our associates. Publix believes in the law and will work hard to enforce it every day in our company."
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS What were the specific violations? 1) Minors working more hours than permitted or during hours not permitted. 2) Minors using prohibited store equipment such as paper balers and dough mixers. What have you done in the past to prevent these types of violations? Publix has always worked hard to enforce child labor laws. Examples of our past efforts include: management and associate training, posting of information, and signed policy statements by management and associates. In spite of our corporate policy and past efforts to prevent violations, a number of violations of the child labor law have occurred. We are taking appropriate measures to ensure compliance with our policy on minors in the workplace. What is Publix' philosophy in regard to minors? Over the years Publix has employed thousands of young people. This tradition benefits these aspiring young people -- and Publix. Some have gone on to other fields, but many have made Publix their lifetime career. There are many young people who need job opportunities and Publix is glad to be in a position to offer good job and career opportunities. At Publix, even part-time school-age associates are eligible to participate in benefits such as the Publix Profit-Sharing Plan and Employee Stock Ownership Trust. Doesn't work interfere with school/education? At Publix education always comes first. We have a long-standing commitment as a partner in education. We work with school programs to encourage education while receiving on-the-job training. In addition to school programs such as DECA, CBE and Work Experience, Publix also participates in Career Counseling programs in many communities. What is Publix doing now? Publix believes the law has the best interest of our young people in mind and we are working hard to enforce it. In addition to continuing our past programs, we are also: -- reinforcing our training of managers and associates. -- securing our paper balers with locks to which only the manager has a key -- installing a computer-based time and attendance system to help managers prevent minors from working hours in violation of child labor law. -- instituting a Publix policy which is more restrictive than state and federal law (for example, where the law limits a minor to three hours on a particular day, Publix policy will limit work to 2 1/2 hours on that day). How does Publix feel about the fine? We take these violations seriously. One violation or fine is one too many. Publix Super Markets, Inc., with 1992 sales of $6.7 billion, is the eighth-largest volume grocery chain in the U.S. and one of the top 10 privately owned companies in the country. The company operates more than 400 stores throughout Florida and Georgia and employs about 75,000 associates. In 1993, Publix was recognized as one of the Top 10 places to work in America by authors of The 100 Best Companies to Work for in America. -0- 8/16/93 /CONTACT: Bob McDermott or Jennifer Bush (in Lakeland, Fla.), 813-688-1188, or Rita Owens (in Atlanta), 404-319-3649, all of Publix Super Markets, Inc./
CO: Publix Super Markets; U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour
Division ST: Florida, Georgia IN: REA SU:
AW-SB -- FL002 -- 2910 08/16/93 09:08 EDT