Employees entitled to pay for working overtime


POSTED: Thursday, March 25, 2010

Question: A dear friend who is a non-salaried employee said workers in her office are being denied overtime pay. According to the Fair Labor Standards Act, Hawaii Revised Statutes, Chapter 387, Wage and Hour Law, they should be entitled to overtime since they are working more than 40 hours per week and are paid hourly. They do not believe that the Human Resources Department knows anything of this. It appears that the employees have not spoken up for fear of some sort of retaliation from management. Can you help?

Answer: Either the state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations or the local office of the U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division would investigate such cases.

“;It does sound likely that the individuals are entitled to overtime under the (federal Fair Labor Standards Act) and there may be violations,”; said Ryan Markham, spokesman for the state Labor Department.

But based on the company (we've deleted the name), jurisdiction would appear to be with the federal office, he said.

The Wage and Hour Division will investigate complaints against companies that make more than $500,000 annually, have at least two employees and are involved in interstate commerce, said Jeff Caparas, an investigator with the division.

Your friend can remain anonymous, but needs to provide details so it can be determined if the complaint is valid, he said. Call 541-1361 or see for information.

“;The state has its own jurisdictional requirements,”; Caparas explained. If a case doesn't meet his office's criteria, it will refer the case to the state and vice versa.

When an anonymous complaint comes in to the Hawaii Wage Standards Division, Markham said, “;A letter is written to the employer describing the alleged illegal activity and the correct application of the law, as an informational piece, with a suggestion to review, audit and modify any illegal practices.”;

Question: On several occasions I have spotted trucks with young passengers riding in the bed, which I know is a violation of Hawaii law. Should I be reporting this to the police when I see this?

Answer: Yes. Call police at 911.

You should be ready to provide the vehicle's license number, as well as a description and the approximate ages of the children, said Michelle Yu, spokeswoman for the Honolulu Police Department.

Section 291-14(c) of the Hawaii Revised Statutes prohibits anyone under the age of 13 from riding in the bed of pickup trucks unless in an emergency or if the vehicle is in an official parade.

Regardless of age, the law also says no one should be riding in the bed unless no seating is available in the cab of the vehicle; the side racks of the vehicle are securely attached and the tailgate is securely closed; and every passenger in the bed is seated on the floor and not attempting to control unlashed cargo.

Exceptions are people or businesses who serve the public.

Animals also are protected under Honolulu law.

Section 15-24.22(b) of the Revised Ordinances of Honolulu, dealing with “;Carrying animal in vehicle,”; says dogs and other animals have to be either “;totally enclosed”; within a vehicle; inside a secured container carried upon the vehicle; or securely cross-tethered to a vehicle to prevent the animal from falling out.

Write to ”;Kokua Line”; at Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 7 Waterfront Plaza, Suite 210, 500 Ala Moana, Honolulu 96813; call 529-4773; fax 529-4750; or e-mail .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).