Wage Laws Enforcement

Clarifies that attorney's fees and other costs of the opposing
party shall not be assessed against the Director of Labor and
Industrial Relations in cases involving the collection of unpaid
wages.  (HB1161 HD1)

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES                H.B. NO.           H.D. 1
TWENTIETH LEGISLATURE, 1999                                
STATE OF HAWAII                                            

                   A  BILL  FOR  AN  ACT



 1      SECTION 1.  Section 387-12, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is
 2 amended by amending subsection (c) to read as follows:
 3      "(c)  Collection suits; attorney's fee; assignments; relief
 4 from costs.  Action to recover such liability may be maintained
 5 in any court of competent jurisdiction by any one or more
 6 employees for and in behalf of oneself or themselves and other
 7 employees similarly situated, or the employee or employees may
 8 designate an agent or representative to maintain action for and
 9 in behalf of all employees similarly situated. The court in such
10 action shall, in addition to any judgment awarded to the
11 plaintiff or plaintiffs, in the event the plaintiff or plaintiffs
12 prevail, allow a reasonable attorney's fee to be paid by the
13 defendant[,] and costs of the action.  At the request of any
14 person paid less than the amount to which the person is entitled
15 under this chapter, the director [of labor and industrial
16 relations] may take an assignment in trust for the assigning
17 employee of the full amount to which the employee is entitled
18 under this subsection and may bring any legal action necessary to
19 collect the claim, and the employer shall be required to pay the

Page 2                                                     1161
                                     H.B. NO.           H.D. 1

 1 costs and such reasonable attorney's fees as may be allowed by
 2 the court in the event the director prevails.  The director shall
 3 not be required to pay the filing fee[,] or other costs[,] in
 4 connection with such action[.], including defendant's attorney's
 5 fees and costs.  The director, in case of suit, may join various
 6 claimants against the same employer in one cause of action.  The
 7 right provided by this [paragraph] subsection to bring an action
 8 by or on behalf of any employee, and the right of any employee to
 9 become a party plaintiff to any such action, shall terminate upon
10 the filing of a complaint by the director in an action in which
11 restraint is sought of any further delay in the payment of unpaid
12 minimum wages, or the amount of unpaid overtime compensation
13 owing to the employee under section 387-2 or 387-3 by an employer
14 liable therefor under this section."
15      SECTION 2.  Section 388-11, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is
16 amended by amending subsection (c) to read as follows:
17      "(c)  The court in any action brought under this section
18 shall, in addition to any judgment awarded to the plaintiff or
19 plaintiffs, allow interest of six per cent per year from the date
20 the wages were due, costs of action, including costs of fees of
21 any nature, and reasonable attorney's fees, to be paid by the
22 defendant.  The director shall not be required to [pay]:

Page 3                                                     1161
                                     H.B. NO.           H.D. 1

 1      (1)  Pay the filing fee or other costs or fees of any
 2           nature, including defendant's attorney's fees and
 3           costs; or [to file]
 4      (2)  File a bond or other security of any nature,
 5 in connection with such action, [or] with proceedings
 6 supplementary thereto, or as a condition precedent to the
 7 availability to the director of any process in aid of such action
 8 or proceedings.  The director may join various claimants in one
 9 preferred claim or lien, and in case of suit join them in one
10 cause of action."
11      SECTION 3.  Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed.
12 New statutory material is underscored.
13      SECTION 4.  This Act shall take effect upon its approval.