HONOLULU, HI—The U.S. Department of Labor announced today that an education and enforcement initiative by its Wage and Hour Division (WHD) focused on retail mall employers in Hawaii, recovered $698,120 in back wages and liquidated damages for 339 employees, and led WHD to assess $59,523 in civil penalties for child labor violations during Fiscal Year 2018.
The investigations completed as part of this initiative found that more than half of businesses investigated failed to pay retail employees legally required overtime when they worked beyond 40 hours in a week. WHD investigators also found that more than half of the retailers that employed minors at mall locations violated Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) child labor provisions when they allowed the minors to engage in work prohibited for workers under 18 years old, such as loading or operating trash or cardboard compactors.
“The U.S. Department of Labor remains committed to educating employers and employees about their rights and responsibilities so that young workers remain safe on the job, all employees get paid what they have legally earned, and employers compete on a level playing field,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Terence Trotter, in Honolulu. “We encourage employers to view the results of this enforcement and education initiative as an opportunity to review their own practices, and to make any corrections necessary to come into compliance.”
Outreach and education efforts conducted as part of this effort included meetings with school counselors, training mall tenant representatives, and providing compliance assistance directly to mall management companies.
Notable results of the WHD’s FY2018 initiative in Hawaii include:
$239,889 to 44 employees after investigators found that six Ramen-Ya restaurant locations in Honolulu, Kapolei, and Pearl City and one in Kahului failed to pay overtime when employees worked beyond 40 hours in a workweek;
$89,565 to 12 employees after four Regal Food Inc. locations in Honolulu malls failed to pay the required minimum wage and overtime. The employer also failed to maintain adequate time records;
$33,346 to five employees after Julie Z Restaurant Filipino Home Style Cuisine at Kapolei Marketplace in Kapolei failed to pay overtime for hours worked beyond 40 in a week;
$76,932 to 10 employees after three Thai-Lao Restaurants locations in Honolulu, Pearl City, and Kapolei failed to pay overtime to kitchen staff; and
$7,060 in penalties were assessed to Gyu-Kaku Japanese BBQ at Windward Mall in Kaneohe for allowing four minors to load a trash compactor.
Employers that discover overtime or minimum wage violations may self-report and resolve those violations without litigation through the PAID program. For more information about the FLSA and other laws enforced by the Wage and Hour Division, contact the Division’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Information is also available at https://www.dol.gov/whd including a search tool to use if you think you may be owed back wages collected by the Division. (PR)