Friday, December 09, 2016

Company Using FLDS Child Labor Held In Contempt

In Perez v. Paragon Contractors Corp., (D UT, Dec. 6, 2016), a Utah federal district court held that a construction company which had previously been enjoined from using child labor was in contempt for now, in cooperation with the FLDS Church, using unpaid child labor to harvest pecans at a Ranch with which the construction company contracted. The court found that
The FLDS church closed its non-public schools during the pecan harvest. In contrast, the public schools in the area were not closed. Instead of going to school for their education, the children congregated at the schools, loaded into vans, and were sent to the Ranch, in good weather and bad.
The children’s working conditions were often harsh. The children did not have an opportunity to rest if they wanted and often were not given any lunch.
The court required the construction company to pay $200,000 into a fund to be used to compensate children who were forced to work on the Ranch at a rate equal to minimum wage plus overtime. The court also appointed a special master to evaluate ongoing compliance with the injunction for 5 years. Salt Lake Tribune and Fox 13 reports on the decision. (See prior related posting.)