D.B. Hawaii, Inc., a Hawaii corporation doing business as Polynesian Hostel, has agreed to pay $110,000 in back wages for failing to pay 91 employees the current minimum wage of $7.25 per hour, in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act.
An additional $16,000 already was paid as compensation to a worker who was unlawfully terminated for filing a complaint, according to the Wage and Hour Division.
Polynesian Hostel recruited foreign and domestic tourists to staff many of its hostel positions in exchange for compensation in lodging and food.
“This ‘barter’ system provided an unfair competitive advantage in the hostel market industry through the underpayment of statutorily required minimum wages, while also locking out local workers from legitimate employment opportunities,” said Terence Trotter, the division’s district director in Hawaii.
Polynesian Hostel provides single bedroom and dormitory-style accommodations for low-budget travelers in Waikiki.
Jose A. Carnevali is the Deputy Regional Director of Public Affairs for the U.S. Department of Labor – San Francisco