Firm fined $767K for alleged labor violations at Waikiki hotel project

Hotel Project Investigation
Published: Sep. 19, 2016 at 6:33 PM HST
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WAIKIKI (HawaiiNewsNow) - A construction firm working on the $20 million renovation of the Maile Sky Court Hotel in Waikiki has been fined $767,095 for failing to comply with labor laws.

The state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations said in a news release Monday that the penalties against R&R Construction were for failing to provide prepaid health care, temporary disability insurance and workers' compensation insurance.

The company has 20 days to appeal the citations.

"Law-abiding contractors who pay their fair share face unfair competition and workers suffer when deprived of their rights and benefits," said Linda Chu Takayama, DLIR director. "The visitor industry, and a pleasant visitor experience, is important to Hawaii, but Hawaii's working people and law abiding contractors need to benefit fairly."

Government auditors raided the hotel renovation project last month, following allegations that unlicensed contractors and undocumented immigrants were being used.

DLIR officials said R&R Construction allegedly mis-classified 65 construction employees as independent contractors.

Meanwhile, there are separate open investigations into whether R&R properly paid employees, and followed other labor and business laws.

All 44 floors of the Maile Sky Court are being renovated, and the hotel is slated to re-open as a Holiday Inn Express.

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