Investigation recovers $693K in back wages, damages from Georgia contractor that schemed for years to deprive 110 workers on Hawaii projects of overtime
HONOLULU – The U.S. Department of Labor has recovered $693,100 in back wages and damages after its investigations determined a Georgia-based prime contractor schemed to deny payment of overtime wages to 110 construction workers from 12 states employed on several hotel renovation projects in Honolulu between 2019 and 2022.
Investigators with the department’s Wage and Hour Division found S&A Industries Inc. of Suwanee, Georgia paid the affected workers straight-time rates for all hours worked, and used a series of illegal payment arrangements to avoid paying overtime wages for hours over 40 in a workweek. The workers were employed by seven subcontractors to complete various renovation projects at Hilton and Marriott resorts.
The division determined S&A violated the Fair Labor Standards Act by failing to pay overtime for hours over 40 in workweek to people employed on its projects. The contractor used various pay schemes with their subcontractors that resulted in artificially lower wage rates being paid to workers.
In addition to recovering $346,550 in back wages and an equal amount in liquidated damages, the department assessed S&A Industries with $40,000 in civil money penalties for its repeated and willful FLSA violations. Wages and damages recovered range from $1,207 to $28,177 per worker.
“Our investigation found a blatant and prolonged effort by S&A Industries and their subcontractors to deprive 110 construction workers of their hard-earned overtime wages,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Terence Trotter in Honolulu. “Employers can’t establish separate agreements with workers that don’t meet at least the legal standards for wage payments, especially regarding overtime pay for hours worked over 40 in a workweek.”
“Construction cost savings on resort renovation projects can't be taken out of the workers' pockets,” Trotter added. “Overtime earned should be overtime paid.”
The investigation included a review of pay practices by six Georgia subcontractors including ESL Remodeling Corp., Pure Painting Inc. in Lawrenceville; A&A Floors and Counters Hotel Services LLC and PJ Tile Marble LLC in Marietta; Gerb-One Industries LLC in Conyers; and Dynasty Industries Inc. in Stone Mountain. The seventh contractor is Merced Renovations LLC in Manvel, Texas.
Founded by company President Daoud Shakkour and Executive Vice President Ahmed Aboneaaj, S&A Industries Inc. is a prime construction contractor specializing in hotel and resort renovation. Its projects include properties in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri and South Carolina.
In fiscal year 2022, the division recovered more than $32.9 million in back wages for 17,127 construction industry workers. The division completed more than 2,200 investigations in FY22 in the construction industry and by wages recovered, the industry ranks first among the low wage, high violation industries investigated by the division.
For more information about the FLSA and other laws enforced by the Wage and Hour Division, contact the division’s toll-free helpline confidentially at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). The department can speak with callers in more than 200 languages, regardless of where they are from.
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. Download the agency’s new Timesheet App for Android and iOS devices – free and now available in English and Spanish – to ensure hours and pay are accurate.