KnoxNews.com reports that the federal government has fined a Maryville company almost $11,000 for allowing an employee under 18 years old to operate power-driven machinery. The employee in question lost her hand last year when she was working at Altr-Eco Pallets. She and her family are underground expatriates from Mexico.
"The federal government has fined a Maryville company almost $11,000 regarding an incident in the spring of 2004 in which the right hand of a teenage illegal immigrant was mangled by a piece of machinery."
"DLJ Enterprises, which did business as Altr-Eco Pallets at 1737 William Blount Drive, was assessed $10,670 'for allowing an employee under the age of 18 to operate power-driven machinery,' in violation of the youth employment provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act, according to a statement by the U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division."
"The fine goes to the government and not to Maria Alvarez, now 19, who lost all the fingers on her hand to a machine called a mauler."
Ms. Alvarez also sued the company for damages from the injury. Among the defenses raised by the company is that Alvarez "is barred from recovering damages because as an 'illegal alien,' she participated in any circumvention of the law the suit accuses the defendants of violating."
The company also alleges that "illegal immigrants have no standing to assert any claims."