Labor Department opens new American Samoa office

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PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (AP) - The U.S. Department of Labor is opening a new office in American Samoa to help employers comply with federal labor law.

The department and Gov. Lolo Matalasi Moliga signed an agreement calling for local and federal governments to work together to extend Fair Labor Standards Act protections to workers in the territory.

Moliga said this should help workers know they’ll have a better chance of protecting their rights.

The territorial government last year paid more than $900,000 in back wages to settle charges resulting from a Labor Department investigation. Most of the 250 workers to receive back pay were police officers.

In the past, the department would send people from Honolulu or the mainland to handle and review cases.

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