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UDDOL cites Manu’a Inc.

Manu’a Inc., which operates three stores on Tutuila, will pay back wages to over 200 employees and fully comply with federal labor law on wages, as cited by the U.S. Department of Labor, says company owner Manu’a Chen.


USDOL announced yesterday that the retailer failed to pay at least the Fair Labor Standards Act’s (FLSA) minimum wage and overtime premium to 252 workers employed at their 3 stores during the period of September 21, 2013 through January 25, 2014.


Total back wages owed is $119,850 and USDOL said the employer agreed to pay the back wages in full and to immediately comply with the FLSA’s provisions. 


Chen offered no comments on the case when contacted yesterday for comments, but said his company will pay the back wages and will fully comply with federal laws.


In the case, the USDOL said the minimum wage violations occurred when new employees worked 5 to 8 or more hours in a day and were paid a flat day rate of $20 dollars.


“Other employees were reduced below the American Samoa retail minimum wage rate of $4.60 per hour when paycheck deductions were made for violations of company policies such as talking back to managers, clocking in late and failing to finish an assignment,” the federal agency said in a news release.


Overtime violations occurred when the employer failed to pay employees for all hours worked including time worked past the end of their scheduled shift or during their lunch period, it said.


“Regardless of a new employee’s probationary status, they are entitled to receive at least the minimum wage rate,” said Terence Trotter, the USDOL’s director of its Wage and Hour Division in Hawai’i that conducted the probe in this case. 


Also, all employees should be paid for their time actually worked, not just their weekly scheduled hours, which don’t factor unexpectedly working through lunch periods or working later than anticipated,” he said in the news release.