Operator of Overnight Wilderness Therapy Program to Pay $225,413 in Back Wages for Overtime, Minimum Wage and Record-Keeping Violations

 
Tuesday, July 17, 2012
 

Pacific Quest in Hilo has paid $225,413 in back wages to 121 current and former employees following an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division that found violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act’s overtime, minimum wage and record-keeping provisions.

The Wage and Hour Division’s Honolulu District Office found that the company, which operates and manages an overnight wilderness therapy program for adolescents and young adults, never calculated or paid an overtime premium for field instructors who worked in excess of 40 hours per week. Additionally, these employees served their shifts residing at a campsite and averaged 122 hours of work over a two-week period. They were paid “straight time” for all hours worked that did not always meet the federal minimum wage. Finally, required records were not maintained.

The FLSA requires that covered employees be paid at least the federal minimum wage of $7.25 for all hours worked, plus time and one-half their regular rates, including commissions, bonuses and incentive pay, for hours worked beyond 40 per week. In general, “hours worked” includes all time an employee must be on duty, or on the employer’s premises or at any other prescribed place of work, from the beginning of the first principal work activity to the end of the last principal activity of the workday. Additionally, the law requires that accurate records of employees’ wages, hours and other conditions of employment be maintained.

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