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Hawaii News

Plumbing contractor penalized for Hawaii wage violations

A national plumbing contractor must pay nearly $200,000 for labor violations in Hawaii, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

The agency said Virginia-based Phoenix Renovation Corp., which does business as Sagebilt Inc. and SageWater, will pay $134,623 to 93 Hawaii employees for unpaid overtime. The payment works out to $1,448 per employee on average.

The agency also said the company will pay $61,163 in civil penalties because of the “willful nature” of the violation.

In a news release, the agency said the Phoenix Renovation employees typically would start work between 7:30 a.m. and 7:45 a.m. with briefings, loading equipment and other things but weren’t paid for work until their shift began at 8 a.m. even after employees questioned the practice.

“Employees must be paid for all of the time that they work, not just for their scheduled time,” Terence Trotter, the agency’s Wage and Hour District director in Honolulu, said in a statement. “We urge all employers to use the tools we offer to help them avoid violations and understand their responsibilities.”

Phoenix Renovation officials in Virginia did not respond to a request for comment.

The Department of Labor has information for employers on how to comply with and voluntarily correct violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act at dol.gov/agencies/whd and 866-4US-WAGE.

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