POSTED: 11:42 a.m. HST, Jul 11, 2012
LAST UPDATED: 01:00 p.m. HST, Jul 11, 2012
Pacific Quest on Hawaii Island has paid $225,413 in back wages to 121 current and former employees for violating overtime, minimum wage and record-keeping laws, the U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division said today.
An investigation by the division found that the Hilo-based company, which operates and manages an overnight wilderness therapy program for adolescents and young adults, never calculated or paid overtime for field instructors who worked more than 40 hours per week.
In addition, employees on shift while residing at a campsite averaged 122 hours of work over a two-week period and were paid "straight time" for all hours worked, which did not always meet the federal minimum wage, the department said. Required records also were not maintained.
"These employees now have received the wages they earned for all hours worked," Terence Trotter, district director for the Wage and Hour Division in Honolulu, said in a statement. "The Department of Labor is committed to enforcing the (law) to ensure a level playing field. No employer should derive a competitive advantage by circumventing the law."
Representatives of Pacific Quest weren't immediately available for comment.
Labor laws require that covered employees be paid at least the federal minimum wage of $7.25, plus time and one-half their regular rates, including commissions, bonuses and incentive pay, for hours worked beyond 40 per week.