Hildale firm hit with fine of $10,395 for child labor

Salt Lake Tribune/March 22, 2006
By Brooke Adams

A construction company in Hildale has been fined $10,395 for using boys, including a 12-year-old, to do roofing work.

The firm, Paragon Contractors, also failed to pay the boys, according to the U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division.

Paragon, owned by Brian Jessop, had two boys, ages 12 and 13, working on residential home construction jobs in 2005. Federal law prohibits youth under age 14 from working in nonagricultural jobs.

Those boys and a 15-year-old were found working on a roof, the department said, in violation of a law that sets the minimum age at 18 for such hazardous work. The older boy also was observed operating a table saw, another violation of youth employment regulations.

Minors under 18 are not allowed to operate power-driven circular saws, band saws and guillotine shears, the department said in news release.

The department ordered Paragon to pay the boys $3,296 in back wages, which it agreed to do. But the firm is appealing the penalty assessed by the Labor Department.

A man who answered the telephone at Paragon said Jessop was unavailable and no one else at the company would care to comment on the case.

Hildale and the adjoining community of Colorado City, Ariz., are home to the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, a polygamous sect that follows early teachings of LDS Church founder Joseph Smith.

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