Times Wire Reports

Children as young as 13 were manning phone banks for an Orem market research company from call centers in seven states, federal investigators said. Children that young can’t legally be employed except on farms.

The U.S. Department of Labor fined Western Wats for hiring three 13-year-olds, and for working an additional 1,479 children more than three hours on a school day or more than eight hours on a weekend day, among other violations. Those children were all 14 or 15.

Western Wats disputed the $550,000 fine and said it would fight the allegations.