18 Feb 2014

Federal labour watchdog sought after in American Samoa

4:24 pm on 18 February 2014

It has only been a week since the US Department of Labor has had a representative permanently stationed in the territory but already he has been bombarded with calls regarding labour and wages.

The assistant district director for the Department's Wage and Hour Division, Michael Eastwood, says residents have been calling about all kinds of different wage issues.

He says most of the concerns brought up are quite serious and are issues that the Department has the authority to investigate.

Mr Eastwood says many people are not being paid the bare minimum wage for their industry.

"Another thing that we are seeing that is pretty frequent is that people will not be paid for all their hours. So you might work through your lunch. Well if you work through your lunch you should be paid for it, but they won't be. Or they will start 15 minutes or ten minutes before the start of their shift but they won't be paid for that."

Michael Eastwood of the US Labor Department's Wage and Hour Division