The investigation recovers $693,000 in back wages and damages from a Georgia contractor who planned for years to deprive 110 workers of overtime pay on projects in Hawaii

HONOLULU – The U.S. Department of Labor has recovered $693,100 in back wages and damages after its investigation revealed that a Georgia-based prime contractor planned to hire 110 construction workers from 12 states employed on multiple hotel renovation projects in Honolulu between 2019 and 2022, refuse to pay overtime wages.

Investigators from the department's Wage and Hour Division determined that S&A Industries Inc. of Suwanee, Georgia, paid affected workers direct rates for all hours worked and used a series of illegal payment arrangements to avoid payment of overtime wages for hours over 40 in a workweek to avoid . The workers were employed by seven subcontractors to complete various renovation projects at Hilton and Marriott resorts.

The department concluded that S&A violated the Fair Labor Standards Act by failing to pay employees employed on its projects for overtime in excess of 40 hours per week. The contractor used various wage arrangements with its subcontractors, which resulted in workers being paid artificially lower wages.

In addition to recovering $346,550 in back wages and liquidated damages in the same amount, the Department ordered S&A Industries to pay a civil penalty of $40,000 for its repeated and willful violations of the FLSA. Reimbursed wages and damages range from $1,207 to $28,177 per worker.

“Our investigation revealed that S&A Industries and its subcontractors engaged in a blatant and protracted effort to deprive 110 construction workers of their hard-earned overtime wages,” said Terence Trotter, district manager of the Honolulu Wage and Hour Division. “Employers cannot enter into separate agreements with employees who do not at least meet the legal standards for wage payments, in particular with regard to overtime pay for more than 40 hours in a work week.”

“Construction cost savings on resort renovation projects cannot come out of workers’ pockets,” Trotter added. “Overtime earned should be paid.”

The investigation included a review of the wage practices of six subcontractors in Georgia, including ESL Remodeling Corp., Pure Painting Inc. in Lawrenceville; A&A Floors and Counters Hotel Services LLC and PJ Tile Marble LLC in Marietta; Gerb-One Industries LLC of Conyers; and Dynasty Industries Inc. of Stone Mountain. The seventh contractor is Merced Renovations LLC in Manvel, Texas.

Founded by Company President Daoud Shakkour and Executive Vice President Ahmed Aboneaaj, S&A Industries Inc. is a leading developer specializing in hotel and resort renovations. His projects include properties in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri and South Carolina.

In fiscal year 2022, the department recovered more than $32.9 million in back wages for 17,127 workers in the construction industry. The department completed more than 2,200 investigations into the construction industry in FY22, and in terms of wage recovery, the industry ranks first among low-wage, high-violation industries investigated by the department.

For more information about the FLSA and other laws enforced by the Wage and Hour Division, contact the Division's toll-free hotline confidentially at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). The department can speak to callers in more than 200 languages, regardless of where they are from.

Learn more about the Wage and Hour Department, including a search tool you can use if you believe you may be owed wages collected by the department. Download the agency's new Timesheet app for Android and iOS devices – free and now available in English and Spanish – to ensure hours and pay are accurate.