$115,000 in back wages, liquidated damages recovered from Honolulu flooring contractor

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FILE – In this May 7, 2020, file photo, the entrance to the Labor Department is seen near the Capitol in Washington. Unemployment fraud in the U.S. has reached dramatic levels during the pandemic: more than $63 billion has been paid out improperly through fraud or errors since March 2020. Criminals are seizing on the opportunity created by the pandemic and are making false claims using stolen information. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

HONOLULU (KHON2) — A Honolulu flooring company misclassified some of its employees as “independent contractors” while paying other employees, who worked overtime, straight pay only. Both actions are violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (LWHD) recovered $57,550 in back wages, $57,550 in liquidated damages for nine employees and $5,229 in civil money penalties.

Employers cannot improperly classify employees as independent contractors to evade federal labor laws It is illegal to deny them required overtime pay and other benefits such as employer contributions to their social security benefits,” said LWHD Terence Trotter in Honolulu. ” Employers would be wise to review their pay practices and take advantage of the many tools we offer to assist them in understanding the law and avoiding costly penalties and damages for labor violations.”

LWHD said it has conducted 9,147 investigations in the construction industry, recovering more than $119 million in unpaid wages for more than 84,000 workers nationwide, including the nine employees working for Vladimir’s Marble & Granite at the Makalii at Wailea luxury residential construction project in Maui.

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