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Norwegian Cruise Line Employees to Receive $526K in Back Wages for FLSA Violations

March 2, 2012

In recent U.S. Labor Department (DOL) wage and hour news, Norwegian Cruise Lines has agreed to pay 2,059 employees of Norwegian's Pride of America cruise ship based in Hawaii, $526,602, after a recent investigation by the DOL's Wage and Hour Division (WHD) found the cruise line responsible for systematic violations of the minimum wage, record-keeping and overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

According to the DOL press release that Vincent Howard, Howard Law's managing attorney, has been following, the three-year DOL investigation uncovered that Norwegian Cruise Line employees were incorrectly paid for straight time during mandatory emergency drills performed every week, with no regard to the number of hours they worked during the workweek, and no overtime compensation. The majority of the workers worked around 60 hours per week, and under the FLSA, should have received overtime compensation for any hours worked beyond forty in the week--including time spent during the emergency drills.

The wage and hour investigation also found that because Norwegian took hefty meal and lodging credits from the employees, they were subsequently paid less than $7.25 per hour, the federal minimum wage. Norwegian also reportedly failed to keep any record of and payment given to the housekeeping staff for all time invested in cleaning the cabins between cruises. Employees also often began working prior to when their actual shifts began, without any record of such work, and without receiving any overtime payment for their extra work hours.

As Vincent Howard often reports in our Carson, California wage and hour lawyers blog, under the FLSA, covered employees must receive the federal minimum wage of $7.25, for every work hour in a forty hour work week, including overtime payment.

According to the WHD's Honolulu District Office, employees working in jobs on United States vessels should receive their legally entitled right to fair minimum wage and overtime payment, promised to them under the FLSA--with overtime payment totaling time and one-half their standard hourly pay rates for all time worked beyond forty hours in a week, which includes any incentive payment, commissions, or bonuses.

After the DOL investigation, Norwegian reportedly agreed to implement a plan for FLSA compliance, in order to remedy the cruise line's illegal compensation practices. The Pride America, which employs more than 900 workers at any given time, is the only U.S. flagship in the company's fleet, with Hawaiian ports of call in Honolulu, Kona, Kauai, and Hilo.

Howard Law, PC represents individuals who have experienced California and federal wage and hour violations. Our Anaheim labor and employment attorneys are committed to protecting your right to a fair workplace, and fighting for the recovery that you deserve. Contact Vincent Howard today, for a free consultation.

Norwegian Cruise Lines agrees to pay more than $526,000 in back wages to more than 2,000 cruise workers in Hawaii, The U.S. Department of Labor Press Release, February 15, 2012

Related Web Resources:

U.S. Department of Labor: Wage and Hour Division (WHD), Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)

Department of Labor (DOL): Wage and Hour Division (WHD)

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