'American Idol' Tour Settles With NY Over Child Labor Violations


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NEW YORK (AP) -- The parent company of the "American Idols Live Tour '07'' violated child labor laws during its New York concert dates, according to the state Department of Labor.

The company, 19 Touring LLC, didn't have child performer permits for two singers -- "Idol'' winner Jordin Sparks and Sanjaya Malakar -- during the tour's New York dates in August and September. They also lacked a certificate of eligibility to employ performers under the age of 18, said labor department spokesman Leo Rosales.

Sparks is 17. Malakar turned 18 last month, but was 17 during the five performance dates in Rochester, Long Island, Albany and Syracuse.

A spokesman for 19 Touring said that upon arrival in New York, the tour was informed it would need the state certifications. He said company immediately applied for and was granted the permits.

But the labor department said that for the tour's first three New York shows on August 23, 24 and 25, Sparks and Malakar did not have their individual permits. For all five shows, the company lacked the state eligibility certificate, said Rosales.

The settlement requires 19 Touring to pay $5,000 in fines. The department had issued a total of 16 violations -- with each violation carrying a potential $1,000 fine -- against the company, which did eventually comply and got the necessary paperwork.

An "American Idol'' fan who works for the labor department heard the performers were under 18, did some research and turned the information over to department investigators, Rosales said.

This was the first settlement under a state law enacted in 2003 to protect child performers.

Under the law, employers who use performers under 18 must register with the state to ensure compliance with all labor and workers' compensation laws. They must also obtain an employment permit for each minor whose services they use.