FLDS-linked business accused of using unpaid child workers hopes to settle with Dept. of Labor

Phaze Concrete is on Utah Avenue in Hildale, Utah. Image: Google Earth

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, Nov. 3. 2016 (Gephardt Daily) — A company with ties to the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints has agreed to settle a lawsuit filed by the U.S. Department of Labor by paying back wages and agreeing not to employ children in the future.

Phaze Concrete, based in Hildale, Washington County, has agreed to pay more than $145,000 in back wages, according to documents filed yesterday. It also agreed to pay employees a minimum wage.

U.S. District Court Judge Clark Waddoups must still approve the agreement before the suit can be settled.

The lawsuit charged that Phaze Concrete “… willfully violated the FLSA (Fair Labor Standards Act) by employing two minor children under the age of 16 in construction, a prohibited occupation,” and “… failed to pay minimum wage and overtime wages for hours worked in excess of 40 in a work week.”

It also failed to keep records of hours worked and wages, and “other conditions and practices of employment,” according to court documents.

The settlement also stated that Phaze Concrete does not admit guilt in the settlement filing.

“Defendant contests the allegations of the Complaint and affirmatively asserts its full compliance since 2014. However, in order to avoid the costs and disruptions associated with protracted litigation, Defendant has stipulated to entry of this consent judgment for settlement of all allegations made by Plaintiff (U.S. Department of Labor) in this matter.”

The Federal Government sued over allegations that children were illegally used for concrete projects, and money that should have been paid to employees went directly to the FLDS Church.

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The company specializes in concrete work for new construction projects, according to its website, which states it has been involved with concrete jobs for entities including the Davis County Administration Building, a West Valley City park, Walmarts and Albertsons, parking lots for Fairfield Inns and Hampton Inns, and various apartment buildings.

3 COMMENTS

  1. In that case, the equities will be considered by the court – when the
    contractor is not compensated, whether the homeowner will probably be enriched
    – without getting a written agreement when the contractor supplied labour and
    materials.

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