HONOLULU – A federal court has required the owners and operators of two residential care facilities in Kaneohe to pay $287,279 in wages and liquidated damages to 23 caregivers after a U.S. Department of Labor investigation found the employers intentionally denied them overtime wages.
The court’s action follows a consent judgment the department obtained in the U.S. District Court for the District of Hawaii after its Wage and Hour Division investigation determined Hokulaki Senior Living LLC and Olalani Senior Care LLC and owners Myriam and Robert Tabaniag violated the Fair Labor Standards Act willfully by paying straight-time rates for all hours worked, including hours over 40 in a workweek.
In addition to paying $143,639 in overtime back wages and an equal amount in liquidated damages owed to the affected employees who provide care services for older adults and people with disabilities at two Oahu facilities, the operators must pay the department $13,299 in civil money penalties for their willful violations.
“Just as people employed in the healthcare industry must meet standards for providing care, employers are obligated to comply with labor standards, including the requirement to pay overtime for hours over 40 in a workweek,” explained Wage and Hour Division District Director Terence Trotter in Honolulu. “Employers who fail to meet these responsibilities may suffer costly consequences, particularly when violations are intentional.”
The division’s Honolulu District Office conducted the investigation. Trial Attorney Kathryn A. Panaccione and Wage and Hour Counsel Andrew Schultz in the department’s Regional Office of the Solicitor litigated the case and secured the judgment.
“The U.S. Department of Labor will not tolerate labor abuses or wage theft in the residential care industry,” said Regional Solicitor Marc Pilotin in San Francisco. “This judgment should make clear that we will hold employers in this essential sector accountable for their illegal workplace exploitation and pay practices.”
Learn more about worker protections for care workers and the responsibility of employers to comply with federal minimum wage and overtime law.
Learn more about the Wage and Hour Division, including a search tool to use if you think you may be owed back wages collected by the division. Employers and workers can call the division confidentially with questions, regardless of where they are from. The department can speak with callers in more than 200 languages through the agency’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Download the agency’s new Timesheet App for iOS and Android devices – free and now available in Spanish – to track hours and pay.