MARSHALL, MN (KMHL) — The U.S. Department of Labor has asked a federal court to issue an injunction against a large sanitation service for illegally employing children to clean two southern Minnesota meat plants. 

A filing was made against Packers Sanitation Services after an investigation revealed that the company has employed at least 31 children between the ages of 13 and 17 at three of its locations, including JBS in Worthington and Turkey Valley Farms in Marshall. The other is a JBS plant in Nebraska. 

The factories are accused of hiring children to work in hazardous conditions, and operating high-powered equipment during overnight shifts. An initial investigation suggests that Packer Sanitation Services may be hiring children to work under similar conditions at its other 400 plants in the United States. 

According to the Department of Labor, the sanitation service is also accused of deleting or manipulating employee documents and using intimidation tactics to prevent minors from cooperating in the federal investigation.