NANAKULI, OAHU — A former Hawaiian construction worker who fought to expose an illegal unpaid overtime wage scheme recently got a huge boost now that the federal government is joining the pursuit.
The U.S. Department of Labor has sued the worker’s previous employer for violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act, looking to recover hundreds of thousands of dollars in back overtime pay and impose a stiff financial penalty to deter similar behavior.
So far, about 17 former employees for Nanakuli-based construction company Kazu Construction are alleging their employer took advantage of them by not informing them of their legal rights to overtime pay, according to Hawaii News Now. The defendant’s scam allegedly worked by spreading hours around between pay periods to avoid paying overtime.
During slow work weeks, the employer would take overtime hours and apply them to the latest pay period. Employees claim they frequently worked 12 to 14 hour days, only to be deprived of their rightfully earned overtime pay.
Attorney Threatens Jail Time for Employer Over Unpaid Overtime Lawsuit
While a district director of U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hours Division described the case as a teaching moment for other employers about overtime pay compliance, the government is taking the matter more seriously. Often times, employers may claim they did not intentionally break FLSA overtime laws and they can be settled either in or out of court without federal investigation.
However, due to the allegations the employer was intentionally breaking the law the government felt it needed to step in and protect the workers. At least one attorney for the plaintiffs remarked at the possibility of asking the judge overseeing the case for jail time if the employer retaliated against the workers for stepping forward with their claims.
While many workers being denied overtime pay may feel vulnerable due to the possible financial repercussions, they should know there are resources available to help them seek justice. Speaking to an experienced overtime pay lawsuit attorney can help victims of wage theft understand their legal options.
Unpaid Overtime Lawsuits
Call (855) 754-2795 or complete the Free Unpaid Overtime Case Review form on the top right of this page if you feel that your wage rights are being violated under the FLSA. Our top-rated team of unpaid wage lawyers will evaluate your situation to determine your best course of action to help you seek justice.
Our office will also determine if it is in your best interest to file a lawsuit against your employer. Because strict time limitations apply for filing these types of claims, we advise you contact our experienced unpaid overtime wage attorneys at your earliest convenience and preserve your legal rights.