LOS ANGELES — California authorities slapped an online site Tuesday with a series of child-labor law violations for videotaping two of Nadya Suleman's octuplets without safeguards required to protect their health and safety.
State Labor Commissioner Angela Bradstreet said RadarOnline endangered the newborns, Noah and Isaiah Suleman, by failing to get required state permits, videotaping the infants at hours and for periods of time banned by regulations, and failing to provide a monitor to oversee their welfare.
"These babies were put at risk and exposed to conditions that violated California labor laws," Bradstreet said. "In this case, we are dealing with premature babies."
Suleman had an exclusive contract with the Web site that permitted videotaping of the children, according to a copy of the agreement.
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Violations focus on a single day
Chris Myers of RadarOnline said he hadn't seen the labor law citations and had no immediate comment. The site's executive vice president, David Perel, did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment.
Calls to Suleman's lawyer, Jeff Czech, were not immediately returned. The citations name the Web site only.
The four violations deal with a single day, March 17, when the two infants were the first of Suleman's octuplets to be brought to her home in La Habra, a Los Angeles suburb. They were greeted by a crush of photographers, neighbors and curious onlookers.
The citations carry penalties totaling as much as $3,000, but state officials stressed the investigation was continuing. It's possible other violations could follow targeting other days or other children.
Media frenzy followed babies' births
Suleman, an unemployed, divorced mother, gave birth to the octuplets nine weeks premature on Jan. 26. She already had six children, ages 2 to 7. The births set off media frenzy, with public adoration soon turning to scorn with revelations that Suleman was not working and had conceived all her children through in vitro fertilization.
The octuplets — who at birth weighed from 1 pound, 8 ounces to 3 pounds, 4 ounces — spent their first weeks in the neonatal intensive care unit at Kaiser Permanente Bellflower Medical Center.
Radar has posted more than 100 items about the octuplets mother to their site, many of which include video. The footage ranges widely, from her squabbles with her mother, to a trip to Disneyland with her daughter in tow, to her vow of celibacy and other details of her personal life.
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