American Idol tour fined $5,000 for 16 child labor law violations involving Sanjaya, Jordin

The company that produced the American Idol 6 tour has been fined $5,000 for 16 violations of New York’s child labor laws. 19 Entertainment’s tour division “failed to get the proper permits to hire and feature” two underage finalists, the New York Daily News reports exclusively.

The two performers were season six winner Jordan Sparks and sixth-season joke Sanjaya Malakar, who “turned 18 on Sept. 10 but was 17 during the New York tour dates,” according to the paper.

This is “first [settlement] under the New York State Child Performer Labor Law,” the Daily News reports. It “requires employers who use child performers to register with the state so they can be monitored as to whether they’re complying with child labor, education and workers’ compensation regulations” and “mandates that at least 15% of what children earn goes into a trust fund where it is held for them until they turn 18.”

A Labor Department spokesperson said that even though the whole Idol-watching world knew Sanjaya and Jordin were minors last season, the investigation started only after “[o]ne of our clerical staff — who was actually a fan of the show — [heard] that these performers were, in fact, under 18, and so she did some digging and referred that over to our investigators.”

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