Last Updated on August 11, 2022
A lawsuit was filed against Hyundai Motor America and Hyundai Motor Company following recent allegations of illegal child labor at it’s SMART manufacturing plant located in Montgomery, Alabama.
Plaintiff brings the suit seeking to stop and prevent Hyundai Motor America from future use of child labor in the production of its vehicles. These allegations could have some serious implications for the automaker. If Hyundai is found to have used child labor, it could be facing some serious penalties and/or damage to its reputation.
According to the class action lawsuit, on or about July 22, 2022, various news outlets reported that as many as 50 underage workers were discovered working at the SMART manufacturing plant. The plant is responsible for supplying parts for the Korean automakers nearby assembly line.
Additionally, it’s been alleged that at least three underage workers have been identified just recently working at the plant. In fact, according to Reuters, one of the employees at the factory was only 12 years old.
Former and Current SMART Employees Claim Cohort of Underage Workers
Upon dozens of interviews with former and current SMART employees, three identified underage employees were actually part of a “much larger group of underage workers.
Additionally, it’s been alleged that several underage workers ceased attending school in order to work long shifts at the SMART plant. Casting doubt on the factory’s claim that all of their employees are over the age of 18.
The SMART plant has even had a documented history of serious health and safety violations in the past. Most recently, they were cited for failing to provide adequate safety equipment for employees.
“A Reuters review of the records shows SMART has been assessed with at least $48,515 in OSHA penalties since 2013, and was most recently fined this year,” said the outlet. “OSHA inspections at SMART have documented violations including crush and amputation hazards at the factory.”– Reuters
Staffing Shortage Resulted In Hiring Underage Workers
In late 2020, SMART complained that its Montgomery, Alabama plant was severely lacking in labor and that Hyundai would not tolerate such shortcomings.
As a solution, defendants presumably resorted to illegally hiring underage workers to cure its staffing problems at the SMART plant.
However, Alabama law prohibits minors under the age of 18 from working in metal stamping plants. Federal law also restricts minors from working in hazardous occupations, such as metal stamping.
Class Action Seeks to Stop The Hiring of Underage Workers
This lawsuit is seeking to stop Hyundai and it’s SMART manufacturing plant from hiring workers who are under the age of 18 and ensure the future production of Hyundai vehicles will not be done using child labor.
Status of the Hyundai Child Labor Class Action Lawsuit
This is an active class action lawsuit. This suit has been brought on behalf of the Plaintiffs and a class of current and former Hyundai vehicle owners.
Reis v. Hyundai Motor America and Hyundai Motor Company Case No. 8:22-cv-01405, was filed in the United States District Court for the Central District of California.
Questions About This Lawsuit?
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