(1) The following conduct by the employer constitutes special circumstances that justify the imposition of the maximum penalty allowed by law:
(a) the employer fails to provide information requested by the department and/or does not cooperate in the department's investigation of the wage claim;
(b) there is substantial credible evidence that the employer's payroll records are falsified or intentionally misleading;
(c) the employer has previously violated similar wage and hour statutes within three years prior to the date of filing of the wage claim; or
(d) the employer has issued an insufficient funds paycheck.
(2) Exceptions may be made in instances where the employee has failed to provide records or information necessary for the employer to make final payroll calculation and issue the final paycheck.
(3) The maximum penalty is mandatory under the above circumstances and may be reduced only upon the written mutual agreement of the parties and the department.