HONOLULU – A U.S. Department of Labor investigation has recovered $28,455 in unpaid overtime wages and an equal amount in liquidated damages from a Big Island nursery and landscaping company after they failed to pay overtime wages to 37 employees.

The department’s Wage and Hour Division determined that Aikane Nursery & Landscaping – owned by brothers Brandon and Bradley Belmarez –  paid its employees straight time for overtime hours worked in some weeks. The Fair Labor Standards Act requires employees be paid time-and-one-half of their regular rate for hours worked over 40 in a workweek.

Division investigators also found Aikane Nursery & Landscaping failed to keep and maintain accurate payroll and time records of its employees’ hours of work and violated the child labor requirements of FLSA by allowing minors under the age of 16 years-old to work more hours per week than federal law allows.

In addition to paying a total of $56,910, in back wages and damages, the employer paid a civil monetary penalty of $10,000 for a child labor violation and reckless disregard of the act’s overtime requirements.

“The onus is on the employer to understand federal labor laws, to record all hours of work accurately, and to ensure employees receive all of the wages they have earned according to the law,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Terrence Trotter. “Anyone who employs minors must comply with child labor laws and ensure the safety and well-being of young workers.”

Learn more about the division, including its search tool to learn if you are owed back wages collected by the division. For confidential compliance assistance, employees and employers can call the agency’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Help ensure hours worked and pay are accurate by downloading the department’s Android and iOS Timesheet App for free.

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