Kokua Line
June Watanabe

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

State law has
overtime exemptions

Question: I am a salaried worker for a small private business. My boss now requires me to punch in and out of work. Can he do this and dock my pay if I forget to punch in or out? If I work over eight hours, is he required to pay me overtime?

Answer: For questions like this, call the state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations Division of Wage Standards at 586-8777.

It's an automated system that tries to answer the most frequently asked questions. Just stay on the line if you need to talk to someone. You also can check the Labor Department's Web site -- www.hawaii.gov/labor/ -- to find out more about labor laws.

Under state law, there are provisions for employees to be paid overtime, unless they are paid a salary of at least $2,000 a month, explained Russell Horikawa, chief of the Labor Department's Intake and Certification Branch.

Those receiving at least that minimum salary are exempt from the state's minimum wage and overtime laws, although labor union contracts may determine whether any employee is to be paid overtime.

In Hawaii, the law requires an hourly worker to be paid overtime for any work in excess of 40 hours a work week, a work week being seven consecutive days, Horikawa said.

He noted that an employer determines what a work week is, whether Monday-Sunday or Thursday to Wednesday, for example.

The overtime exemption for salaried workers is under the state law.

The federal Fair Labor Standards Act does not have a similar salary exemption for overtime pay.

Generally speaking, one of the criteria for overtime coverage under the federal act is that a company does at least $500,000 of business a year, Horikawa said. But both state and federal laws have other exceptions, so check with the Labor Department to see what might apply in your case.

Meanwhile, an employer can require an employee to keep time records with consequences for not doing so.

Q: What is the total costs for passports for persons age 16 and over and for those under 16? What fees were added to increase the costs for the two categories?

A: A new security surcharge of $12 for each U.S. passport went into effect March 8.

For first-time applicants 16 and older, the total charge for a passport is $97: passport fee, $55; security surcharge, $12; execution fee, $30.

For those under 16, the total cost is $82: passport fee, $40; security surcharge, $12; execution fee, $30.

If you are renewing a passport, the fee is $67: $55 for the passport and $12 for the security surcharge.

If you want expedited service, there is an additional charge of $60.

It takes about six weeks to get a passport through routine service and two weeks for expedited service.

For more information on passports, check the Web site, travel.state.gov, or call the National Passport Information Center, toll-free: (877) 487-2778, or TDD/TTY: (888) 874-7793.


See the Columnists section for some past articles.

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