Labor Department found Kaua’i restaurant worked minors in violation of federal law
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division found a Kauaʻi restaurant allowed eight underage employees to work beyond the hours permitted by federal law and denied overtime pay to 18 workers.
Tahiti Nui Enterprises in Hanalei was required to pay $11,181 in back wages and liquidated damages for the workers denied overtime and assessed the restaurant a $26,355 civil money penalties for its child labor violations.
According to the Fair Labor Standards Act, employees who are 14- to 15-years old cannot work later than 9 p.m. from June 1 through Labor Day, or past 7 p.m. the remainder of the year. Minors also are not allowed to work more than three hours on a school day, eight hours on a non-school day or more than 18 hours per school week.
The restaurant also allowed some minors as young as 15 years old to cook and bake, which also is in violation of federal laws that prohibit employers from assigning hazardous occupations to underage employees.
“As employers expand their use of young workers in food service industry, the U.S. Department of Labor works tirelessly to make certain that they meet their legal obligation to ensure the safety of these workers,” said Terence Trotter, Wage and Hour Division District Director in Honolulu. “A job should never jeopardize the safety, well-being or educational opportunities of young workers.”
Federal investigators also found the restaurant denied overtime wages to 18 employees who worked more than 40 hours in a workweek, which is in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act.
The Wage and Hour Division called it a “reckless disregard” of the fair labor overtime requirements.