When a St. Paul construction company hired members of the Crookston High School hockey team in 2010 to install drain pipes under the ice rinks at the Crookston Sports Center, it probably seemed like a great community project that would teach valuable work skills to young people.
In fact, Arena Systems committed the employment law equivalent of three coincidental major penalties.
First, the company employed workers too young to legally perform hazardous pipefitting. The 21 players working on the project ranged from 12 to 17 years of age. Second, it never documented the workers’ ages, as required when hiring children under 14.
Finally, it violated Minnesota’s prevailing wage law. While players were nominally paid $15 per hour, $5 of their hourly wages were donated to the Crookston Youth Hockey Association.
Although no one will spend time in the sin bin, the state fined Arena Systems $25,250.