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HANCOCK, Mass. — The owner of Bromley Mountain Ski Resort in Peru, Vt. has agreed to implement extensive corrective measures to resolve violations of the child labor requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act that involve the number of hours worked by minors on the property.

The U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division found the Fairbank Group, which also owns resorts in Massachusetts and New Hampshire, employed a total of 44 minors age 14 and 15 at its three properties outside of the hours restrictions for that age group that are required by the Fair Labor Standards Act's child labor provisions.

The Fairbank Group, which also owns Jiminy Peak Mountain Resort in Hancock, Mass. and Cranmore Mountain Resort in Conway, N.H., has already begun to implement corrective action to ensure future compliance at all three of its properties, according to both a Department of Labor spokesman and Fairbank Group CEO Tyler Fairbank. The company has also paid a $21,582 penalty.

A Department of Labor spokesman declined to say how the matter came to the wage and hour division's attention.

"The wage and hour division doesn't confirm what prompts a specific investigation," he said. "It could be a complaint or an investigation that it initiates on its own."

He said all of the infractions involved hours violations, not minors working at hazardous jobs.

Fairbank said the majority of the infractions were small, and mostly involved youngsters who did things like go to the bathroom or play with their phones when they were supposed to have already punched out for the day. Only five violations were reported at Jiminy Peak, less than 1 percent of the total number of punchouts that were registered at the resort, according to Fairbank.

"We have literally thousands of punches, punches in and out by minors over the course of the year," Fairbank said. "Take a minor who goes to the bathroom or go and jumps on their phone. They do a variety of things but didn't punch out, so these infractions, pardon the pun, were minor infractions.

"We're not running a sweat shop out here. The reality is we employ at our mountains an awful lot of minors, 14- and 15-year-old kids. We take very seriously the hiring, training and and management of these kids. It's a big responsibility to take on this number of kids. ... We make sure there are no infractions of child labor laws."

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Daniel Cronin, the wage and hour division's Northern New England District Director, praised the Fairbank Group for initiating corrective action.

"This agreement demonstrates the Fairbank Group's commitment to provide a safe and healthy on-the-job experience for the hundreds of young workers employed at its resorts," Cronin said in a statement.

The investigation, which began at Cranmore, was conducted in February and March by the Wage and Hour Division's New England District office in Manchester, N.H., and its Boston District office.

Wage and hour division investigators had found that some youths at the Fairbank Group's three properties had worked more than eight hours on non-school days, past 7 p.m. during the school year, or more than three hours on school days. Some youths also worked more than 18 hours during a school week. These practices are all in excess of what the law allows, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

As part of a compliance agreement with the wage and hour division, the Fairbank Group will train supervisors and instruct minors at its three resorts on child labor requirements, use time clock software to ensure minors' work hours stay within the limits prescribed by law, and help supervisors to better identify minors by providing them with special name tags or uniform levels. The firm will also appoint compliance directors to oversee minors' employment at each resort.

Making sure all the supervisors "know intimately" what the requirements for minors are is "where the rubber hits the road," Fairbank said. "It's where the minors and children get their instructions from their supervisors.

"In addition, the employees now know what the requirements are so they know not to open their phones or go to the bathroom before punching out," he added. "It's an educational experience for all of us that we stay within the limits of the law."

The Fairbank Group is headed by both Tyler Fairbank and his father, Brian, who serves as company chairman. Besides the three resorts, the Fairbank Group also own a renewable energy company and two technology firms.

Contact Business Editor Tony Dobrowolski at tdobrowolski@berkshireeagle.com or 413-496-6224.