After an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division, Win Win Construction—a Saipan-based residential and commercial construction contractor—will pay $165,807 in back wages to 23 employees to resolve violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act’s minimum wage and overtime requirements, and pay $15,755 in civil penalties.
WHD investigators found that Win Win Construction paid workers building a hotel in Afetna, Saipan, flat rates per day, in renminbi currency, which failed to cover the hours employees worked at the U.S. federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. This practice of paying flat day rates, regardless of the number of hours employees worked, also resulted in overtime violations when they worked more than 40 hours in a workweek but the employer failed to pay overtime. WHD also cited FLSA recordkeeping violations when the employer failed to record the actual number of hours employees worked.
“Employers in the United States and its territories can’t enter into wage agreements with workers to pay less than the federal minimum wage,” said Wage and Hour district director Terence Trotter in Honolulu, Hawaii. “Employers that violate the overtime and minimum wage requirements gain an unlawful economic advantage over those who pay their workers in compliance with the law. We encourage employers and employees to call us for assistance, to improve their understanding of the labor laws, and to learn about our online educational tools, so they can avoid violations like those found in this investigation.”
Win Win Construction Inc. employs U.S. citizens and foreign national workers from China to perform residential and commercial construction work on Saipan.
The department offers numerous resources to ensure employers have the tools they need to understand their responsibilities and to comply with federal law, such as online videos and confidential calls to local WHD offices.
For more information about the FLSA and other laws enforced by the Wage and Hour Division, contact the toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Employers who discover overtime or minimum wage violations may self-report and resolve those violations without litigation through the PAID program. Information is also available at https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd. (PR)