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Federal labor officials have fined a Utah electrical contractor $376,300, saying the company illegally used child workers on construction sites in Utah and Oklahoma.
The U.S. Department of Labor said Friday that Hildale-based Reliance Electric Inc. used five workers under the age of 14, including a 13-year-old who operated a forklift, in the city on the Utah-Arizona border.
Hildale, Utah, and its sister town of Colorado City, Ariz., are home to the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, a polygamous sect.
Reliance Electric has a long history of employing members of the FLDS. In 2006, federal authorities intercepted a letter sent by the now-mayor of Colorado City, Joseph Allred, to then-fugitive Warren Jeffs. Allred wrote that "… several of the boys are working at Reliance Electric ..."
Officials say Reliance Electric also employed three child workers at a site in Bixby, Okla.
The Labor Department says the company did not pay the children and underpaid 56 other employees.
Reliance Electric did not immediately return a message seeking comment Friday.
Another company affiliated with the FLDS, Paragon Contractors, has been accused of employing children and not paying workers during a December 2012 pecan harvest in Hurricane. On April 20 of this year, the Labor Department assessed fines of $1,964,450 to be paid jointly by the church and officers of Paragon.