Am. Samoa Store, Labor Reach Agreement Over Wage Dispute

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K.S. Mart to pay $80,00 for minimum wage, overtime violations

PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (The Samoa News, August 10, 2014) – Popular local grocery-department store, K.S. Mart, has reached an agreement with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) to pay more than $80,000 in compensation to workers, who weren’t paid in accordance with the federal Fair Labor Standard Acts (FLSA).

The agreement follows a USDOL-WHD investigation of the Tafuna-based company, according to an agency statement released late Thursday afternoon. It says that K.S. Mart has agreed to pay $85,179 to 87 employees for violations of the minimum wage and overtime provisions of FLSA.

WHD investigators found that hourly employees worked through lunch without compensation, said USDOL, adding that investigators also determined that eleven salaried workers were entitled to overtime pay but did not receive it.

Terrance Trotter, the USDOL-WHD Honolulu district director says that in accordance with FLSA, "Hours worked must be properly counted and paid."

"Salaried employees are also entitled to overtime pay unless they are guaranteed at least $380 per week and have certain job duties and primary responsibilities that would lawfully exclude them from the wage requirements of FLSA," he said.

Meanwhile, the USDOL’s weekly newsletter this week called the first American Samoa Safety Fest held last month at the Gov. Rex Lee Auditorium a success with 575 seats filled in 10 classes offered, three of which were conducted in Samoan.

The classes were collaboration between the department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) with the University of California and San Diego OSHA Training Institute/Education Center.

Because of its location, businesses and workers in American Samoa are rarely afforded the opportunity to receive quality safety and health training without having to travel thousands of miles, and added that the courses included a wide range of topics taught by a host of partners and OSHA personnel Tama Satele and Raj Sundram.

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