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Really tough question...hawaii

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  • Really tough question...hawaii

    To whoever can help with this I will be forever in debt!

    My wife and I sold everything we owned (house, furniture, cars, boat, motorcycle, etc) to take a job opportunity in Hawaii as property managers.
    The deal was Housing paid (onsite) and 8 dollars an hour for 40 hours a week.

    When we got there all went according to plan, the only catch was we were told that some weeks we would work 40 hours, some we would work 20 hours, some we would work 60 hours, but we should rest assured that it would all average out. Then we were handed a cell phone that was with us for the duration of our stay in hawaii. We were (at least one at all times) on-call 24 hours a day 7 days a week for 8 months. We kept track of our time via an excel spreadsheet. Somedays we had to sit around on the property and wait til a guest checked in at 2am...mind you this is after working all day long. (housekeeping, gardening, maintanence...) even our "days off" had interuptions via phone calls from guests and last minute check ins that made us run back to the property. We mentioned to our boss several times that we were working a great deal of time, and the answer was always "slow season was just around the corner and it would all average out" we bought this line for 7 months and we started explaining to him that we had been keeping our timesheets and he explained that he did not, he could not answer us as to why we were not being paid a salary instead of hourly wages...

    After the end of 8 months we sat him down and showed him our timesheets, we asked him for what we felt he owed us. (we didn't even ask for the On-call time we worked) just the time we had to remain on the property waiting for a guest to show up and check in...this amount came to around 4k. We told him that we had been in contact with the dol, but we felt the honorable thing to do was to come to him and give him the benifit of the doubt in this...he claimed that we were lying, that he never told us when to work, and that we were extorting him for the money...needless to say we quit and moved back to kansas city. Everything we own in in 4 suitcases and we get to start all over again...

    My question(s) is this:

    we have filed through the DOL, how long does it take to get results from them?

    am I able to ask for the full amount the guy owes us? Ie the on call time and overtime?

    where can I find clear written laws on the internet pertaining to these laws for hawaii?

    I know our boss makes less than 500k a year so it should be a states issue, and that is who we have filed through, can I also file federally if the stae run dol does not help us?

    should I just hire a lawyer? My employer has already hired one?

    Does he even have a case to fight this?

    My major concern is that my wife and i will never see this money and that he will do this to someone else...quite possibly has done this to someone else before us!!!

  • #2
    What an issue!!

    If I read correctly, you said that you were paid on an hourly basis? Not salary?

    The New Overtime rules protect you if you work on an hourly basis. You were provided with a place to stay, free of charge? The new rules allow employers to compensate employees in alternative ways such as vactions, bounuses, etc. But that's for employees that are paid a salary. I hope you kept all of your records. Call the DOL in your area, or Hawaii, and ask to speak to someone. My guess is that you've got him by the balls, if you were paid hourly. Good Luck...

    P.S Check the Fair Pay website at
    For more information, check-out the FairPay website at