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Wage and Hour Division (WHD)

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Archived News Release — Caution: Information may be out of date.

Press Releases

Date:  April 13, 2015

Contact:  Jose A Carnevali or Leo Kay

Phone:  415-625-2631 or 415-625-2630

U.S. Department of Labor
Wage and Hour Division
Release Number: 15-595-SAN



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

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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 http://www.dol.gov/whd/overtime/fs17a_overview.htm. 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 http://www.dol.gov/whd.

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U.S. Department of Labor releases are accessible on the Internet at www.dol.gov. The information in this news release will be made available in alternate format (large print, Braille, audio tape or disc) from the COAST office upon request. Please specify which news release when placing your request at (202) 693-7828 or TTY (202) 693-7755. The Labor Department is committed to providing America’s employers and employees with easy access to understandable information on how to comply with its laws and regulations. For more information, please visit www.dol.gov/compliance.