An Albany-area farm is currently under investigation by the Department of Labor after a national report is claiming they’re abusing child labor laws.
On Tuesday, the Department of Labor cited the community called Twelve Tribes for several child labor violations following a report by Inside Edition.
In a statement, the Labor Department says they “found multiple violations that involved 12 minors having engaged in factory work, which is prohibited.”
The Twelve Tribes operates Common Sense Farm in Cambridge.
Mayor Carman Bogle says they’ve never had any problems with the group.
“We did see members walking around town and families doing roadside cleanup in the spring and mothers push their strollers but I never really heard of any issues,” Mayor Bogle said.
The Inside Edition report claims children as young as nine were working in this barn referred to as a factory. It alleges they were packaging soap and lotion products.
Bogle says the biggest shock to her was that the group was selling their products nationally.
“I was a little surprised to see the report selling on that large of a scale.”
Leaders at Common Sense Farm didn’t want to talk on camera but gave the following statement:
“We are law-abiding citizens and have not considered occasional visits of our children to spend time with their parents at our shop, in a place they call home, to be a violation of child-labor laws.”
One man said if there were any violations, Twelve Tribes would accept the consequences and adjust their practices.
The Department of Labor says the group could be facing tens of thousands of dollars in fines.
Investigators are also looking into other New York factions of Twelve Tribes in places like Ithaca and Oneonta.
Officials say Inside Edition never reached out to them for comment or questions about Twelve Tribes.