Alabama auto parts supplier accused of using child labor in building Hyundai, Kia parts

Published 9:28 pm Wednesday, August 24, 2022

Federal officials this week accused a Korean-owned auto parts manufacturer and supplier to Hyundai and Kia, of violating federal child labor laws at an Alabama factory.

The U.S. Department of Labor filed a federal lawsuit Monday in Montgomery accusing SL Alabama of hiring workers under age 16 at its Alexander City factory.

The lawsuit was accompanied by a proposed settlement. A lawyer for the company signed the consent decree in which the company agreed to not hire underage workers, verify the ages of workers hired through a staffing agency and to fire or discipline any managers aware of the use of underage workers.

A federal judge has not yet signed off on the agreement.

The company’s website says the factory employs about 650 people and is a large manufacturer of headlights, rear combination lights and side mirrors for Hyundai and Kia.

The lawsuit comes after a report by Reuters accused the auto parts supplier of using child labor at a plant in Luverne, Alabama.

An email to the attorney representing SL Alabama was not immediately returned. Hyundai issued a statement saying, “Hyundai does not tolerate illegal employment practices in any Hyundai entity. We have policies and procedures in place that require compliance with all local, state, and federal laws.”