Our response to the most recent news release triggered by a Department of Labor filing in Federal Court.

The most recent news release was triggered by a Department of Labor filing in Federal Court. This filing stems from a governmental review in response to an injury that occurred wherein the injured employee was found not to be 18. This event occurred in 2022.

Fayette complied with all information requests and has fully cooperated with the Department of Labor. The review has taken several months to complete. This news article addresses past events that have come to a point where a final resolution can be entered.

Fayette has implemented and improved upon the hiring and vetting process throughout the time period of the governmental review.

Fayette is confident that all identified gaps in our program have been addressed and closed.

What is Fayette's response or corrective actions regarding the findings within the article?

Fayette has implemented hiring requirements that include:

1. All new employees must be at least 25 years of age.

2. Fayette has invested in the use of facial recognition technology to not only manage labor from a timekeeping/payroll aspect, but to also control the end-to-end onboarding and hiring process and flag any employee that falls outside of the parameters set. The multi-step onboarding process includes human and AI based controls that not only ensure the integrity of the new hire from application to first day working, but also provides an additional age validation screening based on cutting edge technology that continues to be refined as advancements are made.

3. Third-party legal audits are performed on all plants serviced in order to review compliance with all I-9 and age requirements.

4. Internal corporate and legal controls have been implemented on all new hires.

5. Additional fraud detection training has been mandated for any hiring personnel. These measures close any potential gaps that could arise during the hiring process.

The Unaccompanied Minor Problem

In FY 2023, concluded 955 investigations that found child labor violations, a 14% increase from the previous year. We found nearly 5,800 children employed in violation of the law, an 88% increase since 2019, and assessed more than $8 million in penalties, an 83% increase from the previous year.

Compliance program gap analysis

Fayette has worked on actively improving our hiring and review process for all employees since the uptick in child labor cases increased nearly 2 years ago.

Even after implementing new screening tools and processes we recognized gaps that allowed our company to be infiltrated by immigrant minors claiming to be of age for employment.

The stolen identities used fell within a negligible range of human error in being able to decipher true age from documented age. In some cases, the minors identified by the DOL were reviewed by multiple levels of management.

To close these gaps, Fayette has implemented pre-employment processes and restrictions for applicants to now include the following:

1. New hires must be 25 years of age or older. This increased age limit is crucial in eliminating the human error in being able to judge a person’s age by their appearance.

2. A proprietary technology application will perform age analysis and flag applicants for review if their ID age and analyzed age show discrepancies.

3. The Compliance Officer will perform a fact based interview process for any applicants that have been flagged by the proprietary tech or at any other time during the hiring process.

Statement from Deason Law

"We had already been conducting I-9 audits for Fayette Industrial since November of 2022 for various plants, but when Fayette requested the firm to conduct a comprehensive audit of all their employees and hiring processes, I was caught off guard. In my twenty years of working in the field of I-9 compliance, I have never had a company voluntarily elect to conduct such a large-scale audit without prompting from a customer or federal authorities," said Dax Deason, managing shareholder of Deason Law, P.C., a firm specializing in immigration and corporate I-9 compliance.

"We are currently in the midst of auditing the I-9 forms and hiring records of approximately 2000 employees at all of Fayette's locations, conducting staff training, and updating policies. It is more than clear to me that Fayette is serious about making every effort to comply with the immigration and labor laws and continuously improve their hiring programs."