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Ewa herb farm settles federal labor charges

  • FL MORRIS / FMORRIS@STARADVERTISER.COM4This site is proposed for a school in the Ho‘opili plan. Presently, Fat Law’s Farm grows crops including basil, taro and bittermelon on the site.
    FL MORRIS / FMORRIS@STARADVERTISER.COM
    4This site is proposed for a school in the Ho‘opili plan. Presently, Fat Law’s Farm grows crops including basil, taro and bittermelon on the site.

A local farm has agreed to settle a Department of Labor complaint that charged the farm underpaid its workers by hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Fat Law’s Farm, an Ewa herb and vegetable farm, will pay workers more than $430,000 in back wages and penalties to settle the federal claim.

The settlement states that Fat Law’s violated the Fair Labor Standards Act by paying employees no more than $5 per hour, by withholding overtime pay and by neglecting to keep proper employment records.

Kathryn Xian, the founder of the Pacific Alliance to Stop Slavery, says her organization became aware of abuses at the farm more than two years ago when migrant workers at the farm sought help. The Honolulu anti-human trafficking advocacy group then urged federal authorities to investigate.

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