State Recovers $130,367 in Prevailing Wages

Posted on Oct 31, 2016 in News

State of Hawaii Seal

DEPARTMENT OF LABOR AND INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS

DAVID Y. IGE
GOVERNOR

LINDA CHU TAKAYAMA
DIRECTOR

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 31, 2016

STATE RECOVERS $130,367 IN PREVAILING WAGES
$13,037 in Penalties Assessed for Worker Misclassification

HONOLULU — The Hawaii State Department of Labor & Industrial Relations (DLIR) today announced it has assessed Tradewind Plastering and Drywall, Inc. a total of $143,000. $130,367 is for wages owed to construction workers, with $13,037 added for penalties. Tradewind Plastering and Drywall, Inc. was a subcontractor of Jacobsen Construction Co., Inc. on the University of Hawaii at Hilo College of Hawaiian Language Building construction project.

The most costly of the violations was underpaying construction workers by misclassifying them as apprentices, and paying lower apprentice wages, with no registered apprenticeship in evidence. This was in violation of Hawaii’s prevailing wage law covering public works construction.

“Our State prevailing wage law intends that all construction contractors bid on a “level playing field” with regard to labor costs,” said DLIR Director Linda Chu Takayama. “Bids are to be won because of better, more efficient contracting methods, rather than by pushing down the standard of living for Hawaii’s workers.”

Director Takayama explained, “This is a different sort of misclassification from the case at the presumptive Holiday Inn Express at the Maile Sky Court. In that case, workers were wrongly misclassified as independent contractors, and protections and benefits required for employees were not provided. In this case, workers were classified as lower paid apprentices, but there was no registered apprenticeship. In both types of cases, law-abiding bidders face unfair competition, and the workers lose.”

DLIR also notes that it recently recovered wages for hair salon workers who were paid nothing for work performed. They were labelled as apprentices, and kept off-the-books for employment purposes. DLIR has been working with the Hawaii State Department of Commerce and Consumer affairs to educate salon owners and workers on the matter.

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Media Contact:
Bill Kunstman
Department of Labor and Industrial Relations
(808) 586-8845
william.g.kunstman@hawaii.gov

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