Guam employer to pay nearly $400K for underpaying workers
HAGATNA, Guam (AP) — A Guam employer is agreeing to pay nearly $400,000 in damages and back pay for paying workers from China less than minimum wage.
According to a proposed judgment filed Thursday in U.S. District Court of Guam, Acme Universal Inc., which does business as Guam Tile Center, will be permanently barred from hiring foreign workers. The 16 Chinese workers were hired for residential construction work under the H-2B visa program.
The U.S. Department of Labor sued the company and president in 2012, alleging they failed to pay workers the federal minimum wage and for overtime work.
The proposed judgment, signed by Acme and federal labor representatives, is still subject to court approval. The proposed judgment says the company said most of its foreign worker hires from China had to pay a fee of up to $6,000 each, Guam newspaper Pacific Daily News (http://ow.ly/KQrhe ) reported.
“Defendants admit that defendants deducted up to $500 from the workers’ pay each month until the fee ... was fully paid,” the proposed judgment said.
Xin Bo “Paul” Yu, president of Acme, was in China on Thursday when the Pacific Daily News called the tile center for comment. There was no answer at the tile center when The Associated Press called before business hours Friday.
The company will pay $195,090 for unpaid minimum wage and overtime pay, and another $195,090 will go to damages, according to the proposed judgment.
Information from: Pacific Daily News: http://www.guampdn.com