Hawaii Food Wholesaler Fined for Wage Violations

The company was penalized for "reckless disregard of the law."

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HONOLULU — The U.S. Department of Labor has recovered some $73,000 in back wages and damages from a Hawaii food wholesaler who denied overtime pay to 11 warehouse employees.

Investigators from the department's Wage and Hour Division found that Family Food Co. failed to pay 11 workers at least time and one-half for hours over 40 in a workweek, in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act. Investigators determined the employer illegally gave workers the option to either clock in overtime hours worked or to accept cash payments to avoid paying taxes on those earnings.

The employer also violated FLSA recordkeeping requirements by keeping inaccurate time and payroll records.

Back wages recovered:

  • $36,685 in unpaid overtime wages for 11 employees
  • $36,685 in damages for 11 employees
  • $8,877 in penalties for the reckless disregard of the law

“Employers cannot reduce their labor costs by entering into illegal agreements with workers that undermine federally mandated wage standards,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Terence Trotter in Honolulu. “Overtime worked should be overtime paid.”

Family Food Co. wholesales imported bulk goods and repackages them for sale to food retailers across Hawaii.

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