HONOLULU (KHON2) — The U.S. Department of Labor retrieved $33K in back wages from Ocean Journeys LLC, aka, “And You Creations” for 14 underpaid workers because the tour operator violated their overtime wages. And the company was also fined $2,618 in penalties for “the willful nature of the violations.”

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and hour Division determined that the tour company “failed to pay the required overtime pay rates for hours over 40 in a workweek,” which is a violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

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According to LWHD, the employer paid crew members on its Waianae tour boat partial overtime hours at a time and on-half their rate of pay and paid the remaining wages at a straight time which they then listed as “bonus” payments on company payroll records.

The tour boat company also “failed to include incentive bonuses or commissions in the rates of pay when calculating overtime pay due.”

Overtime wages earned should be overtime wages paid. Employers cannot manipulate or attempt to hide hours worked in an effort to avoid their obligation to pay earned overtime lawfully.”

TERENCE TROTTER, WAGE AND HOUR DIVISION DISTRICT IN HONOLULU

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports, the unemployment rate dropped from 5.3 to 3.2% from March 2021 to March 2022.

“With Honolulu’s low unemployment rate, employers who fail to meet their legal obligations to their workers are competing with employers who pay workers their rightful wages,” Trotter explained. “In addition to the costly consequences of back wages and damages, employers whose pay practices violate the law will find it difficult to fill vacancies with the people needed to do the work that makes their company successful.”

The And You Creations company has been contacted but declined to make a comment.

To learn more about the Wage and Hour Division, click here.