HONOLULU – A Honolulu preschool has learned an expensive lesson about willfully failing to pay required overtime wages as the law requires, after a U.S. Department of Labor investigation.

Investigators with the department’s Wage and Hour Division determined that Queen Emma Preschool – a subdivision of St. Andrew’s School – failed to pay some hourly employees when they worked outside of their regular work schedule. The employer required preschool aides to arrive early or remain later at the school to watch students whose parents dropped them off early or picked them up late. The school also required a maintenance worker to perform maintenance duties and shop for snacks for the students outside of his normal work schedule. The school’s actions incurred violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act related to the unpaid time and failure to calculate that time for overtime purposes.

Division investigators also found that the employer did not maintain proper records of employees’ work hours.

As a result of the investigation, the division has recovered a total of $49,787 – $24,893 in back wages and an equal amount in liquidated damages – for eight preschool employees. The school has also paid $4,936 in civil money penalties assessed by the department for the willful nature of the violations.

“Requiring hourly employees to work before or after a scheduled shift and failing to pay them for that time, and any overtime they’re owed, hurts people who depend on every dollar they earn,” explained Wage and Hour Division District Director Terence Trotter in Honolulu. “Not maintaining required records and failing to record the actual time employee work is a sure way to face violations and their sometimes costly consequences.”

Queen Emma Preschool is open to students between the ages of 2 to 5, and is a subdivision of St. Andrew’s School, a private K-12 school in Honolulu.

The FLSA requires that most employees in the U.S. be paid at least the federal minimum wage for all hours worked and overtime pay at not less than time and one-half the required rate of pay for all hours worked over 40 in a workweek.

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 confidentially 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 i-OS and Android devices – free and now available in Spanish- to ensure hours and pay are accurate.

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