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News Brief

Saipan dive shop pays workers $20,000 in overtime back wages

Employers: Seashore Saipan, a Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands company that provides diving tours and dive instruction activities.

Sites: Garapan, Saipan in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.

Investigation findings: A Wage and Hour Investigation found that divers were not paid required overtime pay for hours worked beyond forty in a work week. Instead, they received flat salaries without regard to how many hours they had worked. The employer was also cited for recordkeeping violations when it failed to accurately track the hours worked of its divers.

Resolution: Company paid $20,040 in back wages due to five employees for minimum wage and overtime violations under the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Quote: "Method of compensation, such as a guaranteed salary, does not waive an employer's obligation to pay front line workers a half time premium for overtime hours worked," said Terence Trotter, the division's director in Honolulu, Hawaii. "Other workers paid in this manner should be aware that they may be due overtime."

Information: The FLSA provides an exemption from both minimum wage and overtime pay requirements for individuals employed in bona fide executive, administrative, professional and outside sales positions, as well as certain computer employees. Exempt employees generally must meet certain tests regarding their job duties and must be paid on a salary basis at not less than $455 per week. Job titles do not determine exempt status. In order for an exemption to apply, an employee's specific job duties and salary must meet all the requirements of the department's regulations. For more information, visit For more information about federal wage laws administered by the Wage and Hour Division, call the agency's toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Information also is available at

Wage and Hour Division
April 13, 2015
Release Number
Media Contact: Leo Kay
Phone Number
Media Contact: Jose Carnevali