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Inspectors look for labor violations at Ala Moana construction site

Erika Engle
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Investigators from the state Departments of Labor & Industrial Relations, Taxation, and Commerce and Consumer Affairs’ Regulated Industries Complaints Office descended upon the Ewa Wing construction site at Ala Moana Center today for what they called an outreach and regulatory action.

No citations were issued today, said William Kunstman, spokesman for DLIR.

“We don’t have any conclusions at this point, but it was complaint-driven,” he said of the site visit, indicating more than one complaint possibly had been received.

Should the DLIR find violations in which contractors do not have workers’ compensation insurance, prepaid health care or other coverages for workers, they are “subject to fines.”

According to a joint statement from the three agencies, RICO investigators were there to ensure that contractors and subcontractors working on projects are properly licensed, and that projects are being appropriately supervised.

Tax Department personnel informed contractors of their responsibilities and offered assistance in answering questions about tax laws.

Violations of tax laws can result in interest-bearing penalties, and “depending on the amount, (the state) would vigorously pursue” any findings, Kunstman said.

It is unclear how many workers are employed on the Ewa Wing project, given the number of subcontractors “that come and go,” Kunstman said. He did not identify any of the companies doing work on the project.

The inspection was limited to the luxury retail construction site, and did not involve the Park Lane development along the Ala Moana Boulevard side of the property, Kunstman said.

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