Utah Company Accused of Using Child Labor From FLDS Church Ordered to Pay $1 Million in Back Wages
A company in Southern Utah accused of using child labor from the Fundamentalist Church of the Latter Day Saints has been ordered to pay $1 million in back wages by a federal judge. The U.S. Department of Labor accused Paragon Contractors of using hundreds of children from the church to work on a pecan farm in 2012, which was captured on video by CNN. CNN reported at the time that Warren Jeffs, the leader of the FLDS sect, ordered schools to close for a week so that the children could work on the farm in Hurricane, Utah.
U.S. District Court Judge Tena Campbell on Tuesday ordered Paragon Contractors to pay the money for a contempt finding for a previous child labor violation in 2006, KSTU-Fox 13 reports. The judge’s order said 104 people came forward to seek compensation, but many of the children’s identities are still unknown because they were “members of an elusive, closely-knit polygamous group in Hildale, Utah, and Colorado City, Ariz.” Judge Campbell ordered Paragon Contractors to pay the money into a fund within 30 days, with the money to be given to the children who are owed the back wages within a year.