TINLEY PARK, Ill. — Federal officials have levied a $55,000 fine against a grocery store chain active in Chicago’s southern and southeastern suburbs for child labor violations. The U.S. Department of Labor said Thursday that Walt’s Food Centers was cited for allowing 22 employees under 18 to operate balers, and allowing one minor under 16 to work beyond the permitted times and hours. A consent judgment filed in U.S. District Court in Chicago orders the $55,000 civil penalty and orders the firm to stop future child labor violations. Walt’s, which has stores in Tinley Park, Frankfort, Crete, South Holland, Homewood, and Dyer, Ind., did not admit or deny any violations, but agreed to pay the fine and to comply with child labor laws in the future. Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.