A federal investigation found that an Alabama manufacturer employed teenagers, according to the Department of Labor.

A federal investigation found that an Alabama manufacturer employed teenagers, according to the Department of Labor.

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An auto parts maker used child labor to make parts for Hyundai and Kia, federal investigators say.

The investigation established that teenagers aged from 13 and 15 years old He was employed in Alexander, Ala., by SL Alabama LLC, which supplies automotive headlights and mirrors, according to an Oct. 11 press release from the U.S. Department of Labor.

The teenagers were hired by JK USA Staffing, a temporary staffing agency, but worked in SL Alabama, Alabama Department of Labor said in a press release on October 11. Neither SL Alabama nor JK USA Staffing had the required child labor certifications, the release said.

Some minors employed at the facility operated “plastic bonding machines” in an illegal occupation, while other teenagers worked without proper records, the investigation found, according to a state release.

The investigation was conducted by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division in coordination with the Alabama Department of Labor’s Child Labor Office and the Alabama Attorney General’s Office, a U.S. Labor official told McClatchy News.

SL Alabama, JK USA Staffing, Hyundai and Kia did not immediately respond to McClatchy News’ request for comment.

“Our investigation found that SL Alabama engaged in severe child labor, employing youth workers under the age of 14 and employing minors under the age of 16 for production,” Wage and Hour Director Kenneth Stripling said in a release. “Employers are responsible for knowing who is working at their facilities, making sure those people are of legal working age and that their work complies with all federal, state and local labor laws.”

Alabama and federal labor officials are suing.

A Sept. 29 ruling by the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Alabama enjoined SL Alabama from violating child labor provisions and shipping any products made within 30 days of the labor violation, according to a federal release.

In addition, the manufacturer is required to provide training materials to any organization that provides workers to its Alexander City facility, according to U.S. labor officials. The company must also conduct quarterly child labor training for three years and must impose sanctions on anyone found guilty of child labor violations.

The U.S. Department of Labor has not completed its investigation into JK USA Staffing, the spokesman said.

The state Department of Labor also fined SL Alabama and JK Staffing $17,800 each, the department said. In total, the department says it collected more than $35,000 in fines from the two businesses.

The lawsuit comes months after a Reuters report said another Hyundai subsidiary in Alabama was employment of children. Following the July 22 announcement, a Hyundai customer sued the company.

In a July 22 email in response to the report, a Hyundai spokesperson told McClatchy News that the company “does not tolerate illegal hiring practices” and complies with local, state and federal laws. The company does not comment on the lawsuit.

As of Oct. 11, a spokesperson told McClatchy News that the accused subsidiary has severed ties with its third-party agency that employed minors.

Moira Ritter covers the news in real time for McClatchy. She graduated from Georgetown University where she studied government, journalism and German. She previously reported for CNN Business.