Measurement work down to 1 inspector
HONOLULU - There's just one man responsible for ensuring the accuracy of Hawaii commercial measurements from gas pumps to grocery store scales to taxi meters.
Because of cutbacks, Gen Miyashiro is the state Department of Agriculture's lone measurement standards inspector actively working in the field. Three other positions include an inspector who retired and two who are on extended leave.
Hawaii News Now reports that instead of random inspections, Miyashiro can respond only to complaints.
When statistics were last kept in 2009, 15 percent of stores surveyed by inspectors were found to be overcharging customers.
The Agriculture Department is asking state lawmakers for about $323,000 per year to hire three more inspectors and a manager.
For now, Miyashiro says he'll do his best to respond to complaints.
Cruise line will pay workers back wages
HONOLULU - Norwegian Cruise Lines has agreed to pay more than $526,000 to more than 2,000 cruise workers in Hawaii after federal officials investigated minimum wage and overtime violations.
The U.S. Department of Labor said Wednesday that its investigation found that Norwegian paid employees straight time for mandatory Saturday emergency drills, regardless of the number of hours they had worked weekly.
The investigation also found that workers were paid less than minimum wage because Norwegian took large meal and lodging credits. Housekeeping staff weren't paid for time spent cleaning cabins between cruises. And employees weren't paid for hours worked before their scheduled shifts.
The Pride of America is the only U.S. flagship in the Miami-based company's fleet. The vessel's ports of call are in Hawaii.
Norwegian did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Bank class-action settlements OK'd
HONOLULU - A state judge has approved a $9 million settlement between Bank of Hawaii and 160,000 customers in a class-action lawsuit over improper overdraft charges.
A separate $1.2 million settlement between Central Pacific Bank and 10,000 class members was approved last month.
Lawyers say customers who were charged at least two overdraft fees for ATM and debit card transactions on the same day will receive a portion of the settlements.
Each Bank of Hawaii customer could receive about $42, while each Central Pacific Bank customer could get about $90. The amounts will vary depending on amounts of overdraft charges.
The lawsuits stemmed from the method used to maximize debit and ATM overdraft fees by reordering transactions from the highest dollar amount to the lowest.