Utah polygamist group owes $1.9M for child labor violations

Salt Lake City — The U.S. Labor Department is taking legal action to collect $1.9 million in unpaid penalties from a polygamous group led by Warren Jeffs that was fined for child labor violations.

New legal documents filed Tuesday also seek back pay for 1,400 workers — including 175 children— who federal officials say weren’t paid in the 2012 pecan harvest.

Labor authorities fined the polygamous group, a contracting company, two sect members that own the company and Lyle Jeffs, who leads the sect with his brother Warren Jeffs in prison.

It’s not clear if the defendants have attorneys. The sect, known as the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, doesn’t have a designated spokesman.

Officials are also asking a judge to order the group to stop using unpaid and underage laborers in the future.