US DOL – Alii Security Systems to Pay $1.4M

Honolulu company Alii Security Systems, Inc. to pay $1.4M to 171 security officers after U.S. Department of Labor finds employer illegally schemed to deny payment of overtime wages.

Alii Security Systems Inc. also assessed $60K in civil penalties for reckless disregard of the law.

HONOLULU (STL.News) A Hawaii company that provides security officers to the state’s National Guard, the Hawaii State Arts Museum, Foster Botanical Gardens, and other public and private facilities, will pay $1,539,773 in back wages and liquidated damages to 171 guards – and civil penalties – after a federal investigation determined the company denied workers overtime pay illegally.

Investigators with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division found Alii Security Systems Inc. of Honolulu established a “voluntary program” that offered guards more work hours if they waived their right to overtime and accepted straight-time pay for all hours worked.  The division determined the company intentionally violated the Fair Labor Standards Act’s overtime laws, which requires that most employees be paid overtime pay when they work more than 40 hours in a workweek.

The division identified $739,886 in back wages and an equal amount in liquidated damages owed to the workers and assessed $60,000 in civil money penalties for the willful nature of violations.

“Employers who attempt to evade their legal responsibility to pay workers all of their rightfully earned wages will face costly consequences,” said Jessica Looman, acting administrator of the Wage and Hour Division.  “Alii Security Systems Inc. devised a scheme that denied overtime to guards who worked more than 40 hours in a workweek, cheated other guards out of a fair share of work hours, and gained an unfair competitive advantage over others in their industry that abide by the law.”

Owned by company president Sandra Dang, Alii Security Systems Inc. has provided security services in the state of Hawaii since 2003.