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Maui apartment complex owner violates labor law

The owner of a Maui apartment complex that arranged for tenants to do maintenance and landscaping work has run afoul of federal labor regulations and will pay $84,136 to 22 workers, the U.S. Department of Labor announced today.

Labor Department officials said the owner of Piilani Gardens Apartments, an affiliate of California-based Elden Holding Group called Piilani Gardens LLC, failed to properly pay workers overtime and exceeded allowed credits for providing housing to employees.

The back pay averages to $3,824 per worker.

Elden’s pay practices at the 200-unit Piilani Gardens project built in 2004 had been investigated by the Labor Department, and the back pay was arranged to resolve the case.

An Elden representative said underpayments were a mistake made by a third-party property management firm.

The Labor Department urged employers, as well as workers, to seek advice on federal wage law issues by calling a toll-free and confidential helpline at 866-4US-WAGE.

“We urge all employers to use the many tools our agency offers to avoid violations and to comply with the law,” Terence Trotter, the department’s Wage and Hour Division district director in Honolulu, said in a statement. “The resolution of this case protects workers and helps level the playing field so that employers that follow the rules do not face unfair competition.”

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