Honolulu company to pay $1.4M to 171 security officers after US Department of Labor finds employer illegally schemed to deny payment of overtime wages
HONOLULU – A Hawaii company that provides security officers to the state’s National Guard, the Hawaii State Arts Museum, Foster Botanical Gardens and other public and private facilities, will pay $1,539,773 in back wages and liquidated damages to 171 guards – and civil penalties – after a federal investigation determined the company denied workers overtime pay illegally.
Investigators with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division found Alii Security Systems Inc. of Honolulu established a “voluntary program” that offered guards more work hours if they waived their right to overtime and accepted straight-time pay for all hours worked. The division determined the company intentionally violated the Fair Labor Standards Act’s overtime laws, which requires that most employees be paid overtime pay when they work more than 40 hours in a workweek.
The division identified $739,886 in back wages and an equal amount in liquidated damaged owed to the workers, and assessed $60,000 in civil money penalties for the willful nature of violations.
“Employers who attempt to evade their legal responsibility to pay workers all of their rightfully earned wages will face costly consequences,” said Jessica Looman, acting administrator of the Wage and Hour Division. “Alii Security Systems Inc. devised a scheme that denied overtime to guards who worked more than 40 hours in a workweek, cheated other guards out of a fair share of work hours, and gained an unfair competitive advantage over others in their industry that abide by the law.”
Owned by company president Sandra Dang, Alii Security Systems Inc. has provided security services in the state of Hawaii since 2003.
In fiscal year 2021, the Wage and Hour Division identified more than $6 million in wages owed for people working in the guard services industry.
For more information about the FLSA and other laws enforced by the division, contact the agency’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). 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. Workers can call the Wage and Hour Division confidentially with questions – regardless of their immigration status – and the department can speak with callers in more than 200 languages.