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Waikiki hostel fined $125,000

By Erika Engle

LAST UPDATED: 04:26 p.m. HST, Jul 03, 2014

Pacific Ohana Hostel Corp. has been ordered to pay $125,000 in back wages and liquidated damages to 86 employees following an investigation by the Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor.

The company operates a hostel on Lemon Road in Waikiki.

The employer predominantly compensated workers with free lodging in exchange for labor, however, investigators determined the value of the lodging was insufficient to equate to the minimum wage rate of $7.25 per hour, according to a division finding.

"An employer must clearly document the actual cost incurred to the business for providing lodging in lieu of cash wages to its workers," said Terence Trotter, Hawaii district director. "The lodging must also be compliant with federal and state housing occupancy standards."

Officials at Pacific Ohana Hostel Corp. could not be immediately reached for comment.

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2NDC wrote:
So it appears that the lodging is wort way less than what they're charging paying customers? :-O
on July 3,2014 | 08:36AM
Based on that rationale, you got cheated out of your tuition money for school.
on July 3,2014 | 10:16AM
SueH wrote:
And of course the U.S. Department of Labor will pass on any fines collected from the hostel to the deserving workers who where cheated in the first place. Yah, sure, you betchya. So the USDL profits from another person's peril.
on July 3,2014 | 11:21AM
cojef wrote:
Non-union employees possibly, thus the investgation to encourage unionization?
on July 3,2014 | 12:11PM
pridon wrote:
Investigation probably initiated by a complaint from Local 5. The employees were likely mainland and overseas visitors on a "working" vacation. Should have incorporated as a non-profit and had the "volunteers" help out. Or they could have just paid the wages and rented the space. Then the workers could just camp out like the working homeless.
on July 3,2014 | 02:08PM
HanabataDays wrote:
Or you could be completely wrong on all counts. But hey, it's so fun to indulge in wild speculation.
on July 4,2014 | 03:57AM
waikane_honolulu wrote:
Is anyone else seeing a 2013 clip of Justin Rose winning the US Open below?
on July 3,2014 | 02:26PM
HD36 wrote:
I've met the owner before. I very shrewd Middle Eastern man who got what he deserved.
on July 3,2014 | 05:10PM
DABLACK wrote:
Get more places like that....now is the time to do more by the DOL.
on July 4,2014 | 06:26AM
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