tv Small Business Owners to Testify on the Labor Departments Overtime Rule CSPAN May 11, 2016 9:00am-10:01am EDT
every day is challenge to me, i can be thankful, you know, for the freedoms, you know, i enjoy. i i really thank the u.s. government for accepting us as refugees and giving us a chance to live like a human. i thank the u.n. for protecting my life and helping us gain safe passage to the united states. finally, i wouldn't be here today if it weren't for the prayers and activism with a big heart for north korea, many of whom are in this room, so thank
you. lastly, lastly, i wanted to share one last story from my memory from he he asked me to turn the faucet all the way until i see water coming out. she told me once the bucket was filled up, i should dump into the bigger pot in the kitchen. i did that until three pots were filled, one big jar filled and small containers were filled. there was only one issue, water was scarce so it didn't come out of the faucet like we have here in the rest rooms. it came out one drop every two i asked i asked her what is it for. she said we are going to use that water for three days, maybe the the villages said that all
running water will stop, even dripping water. i was allotted to drink only one cup of water per day, so we decided every drop precious. i believe our efforts for north korea are like those drips of i i believe that our efforts like the water faucet drip by drip may seem significant in small but but this doses will fill up, buckets and ultimately rise to a wave bear down the walls of operation in north korea. one drop of water is weak, but collected over time has the power to pierce stone. but only if we never ever give i believe i believe that being able to freely pursue the basic needs to leave our human rights.
i also believe that living in the u.s. i've discovered for myself what human rights looks like. i i hold my brothers and sisters in north korea one day can experience the same wherever they are, but they must be persistent until that day comes. thank you. thank you very much for giving me the opportunity to speak in front of the audience, i'm turning 39 years old this year. sadly i have no memories
whatsoever of my mother. i don't talk to her. i have no memories of touching her. my my mother's name is -- when she was 22 years old, she spent many days working and raising her two little children, myself and my elder sister three years older than my -- only by myself and then my older sister was three-year-old and one-year-old when she was suddenly abducted by north korean agents. i have only one photo prove my family ties with her. when i was just one-year-old i was violently separated from my mother and that situation still continues in september 2002, the japan, north korea summit meeting was held and north korea admitted for the first time that they had abducted my mother, but north korea explained that she was killed in a traffic
acc when when i heard the news, i was terribly shocked because i thought i would never ever be able to see my mother. i couldn't stop crying. the information given was not grounded in fact. at that time they told us that she was killed in a traffic accident, but they showed us we discovered that there was no name of her in the traffic accident report that was submitted by north korea. that means there are many contradictions on abduck tees conditions which was also
revealed by the japanese government. i believe i believe that north korea made up the story that my mother had already died in order to conceal the fact that she is still ali and i'm and i'm sure she's still alive in north korea and i know that she's still waiting impatiently to be rescued out from north korea. including including my mother, there are at least 17 japanese citizens who have been identified officially as victims of abduction by north korea, although five of them have gone to japan, there still remains 12 that haven't. today we have someone in the audience and his elder sister was abducted by north korea when she was as young as 13 years old, impossible. in addition to these 12 cases there are still several hundreds of cases involving japanese citizens for which the possibility of abduction by north korea cannot be ruled out.
although, north korea told japan that of the 12 remaining abduct tees, 8 have died and four in the north korea easter toir. there are so many contradictions and awkwardness in their explanation, for example, in 2004 north korea presented what they call the three mains, the dna tests conducted by the japanese government proved that the remains presented by north korea contained dna from a different person.
abduction. and and citizens of the victims have passed away without being able to reunit with their families, which is tragic. time lost can never be recovered, family members are agin we we don't have the luxury of time as we seek the resolution of the abduction issue. it is important for us to have higher level of interest in the protection of human lives rather than only to focus on nuclear and missile issue. ladies and gentlemen, i will urge you to support in having all the abduck tees return from north korea as soon as possible. in closing i will like to express my deepest gratitude to my adoptive parents who raised me. i also i also really hope that the day will come soon that i will look directly into the eyes of who brought me to life in this world and conquered mother, thank you very much for your time and
attention. >> >> now, everyone knows that these families were right and deserve our support. we're the center of strategic and international studies not the center for human beings or something like that. i think it's very very important that at a session like this with senior officials focusing on policy and analysis, we hear these voices far too often grand strategy is posed as something that involves ignoring human instincts, human rights
agency identified several individuals who were north koreans responsible for some of the abductions and has issued a arrest warrants for those individuals and is also passed their names on to interpole where, i believe, arrest warrants are also issued. i'm wondering whether on the accountability issue using the u.s. sanctions from february, the legislation, the new human rights legislation that permits individual sanctions to be imposed, whether the japanese government has thought about doing something similar and whether the japanese and american governments have considered using those individuals whose information is out there to list as individuals responsible for the violation of the human rights of these abduct tees.
>> >> you describe the why nuclear weapons and human rights violations are both necessary for the survival of the north korean regime. so my question, sir, or all of you, is it possible to devise that the international community can apply the kind of pressures on north korea where they will come to see that they're continuing violations are of greater threat to their survival than the -- than anything else. >> good question. thank you. so if i can ask the panel to try to -- one minute each, give an answer and wrap up beginning with bob king and we'll work down and you get the last word.
so, bob. >> first of all, with regard to the question on individuals involved in sanctions being -- individuals being involved and objections being sanctioned. we're looking at the issue of how we might identify individuals in ways that meet our legislative requirements to apply sanctions against indi and and there are a whole range of issues that we're looking at and people involved in and objections will be one that we are looking at. so, yes, we're looking at it. with regard to the question of the international community pressing the dprk, you know, i think we've done a fairly good job of trying to bring the international community together and press the north koreans and i think the north koreans are feeling the pressure in terms of
looking at human rights. when the commission of inquiry issued its report, the north koreans came back very agg they they had a couple of people in new york who made appearances before the council on foreign relations for the first time. they've tried to defend the north koreans in light of the of what the results of inquiry were on the human rights issue. the north korean foreign minister for the first time in 14 years made an appearance in new york and spoke at the general assembly session in an effort to defend the north that that continued during 2015 and the north koreans fought back, they attempted to -- on the resolutions that were being adopted in the general assembly and in the human rights council to call for votes, they had allies who -- the country's you would expect voted against the
the the numbers didn't change that much from what it was looking like before. the north koreans and human rights council got maybe eight votes in support of them, those who voted against them were five times that number, so, i mean, it -- the north koreans have tried it. this last year, or this year, the north koreans announced in geneva that they weren't going to contest the brutality to which they were being subjected the to their awful human rights effort. and and when the issue of north korea was taken up in march, the north koreans were not present in the chamber. they were present in the building because we saw them. but they didn't bother to come in to the chamber because they didn't want to have to go through the embarrassment of being the object to the form one to defend north korea's human rights record. it was interesting, even in the countries that spoke out against
the resolutions that were being adopted, countries like bella rosa, zimbabwe, countries with records on human rights, didn't defend north korea. they said, we don't think an individual country should be singled out, so the north koreans, after finding, a, they didn't have a lot of support, said we're not going to contest, we're going to ignore it because we don't think it's worth and, and, in fact, this year for the first time in several years when the resolution was taken up in geneva it was adopted by there were there were a couple of countries that disassociated themselves from the consensus. but this reflects, i think, the fact that we have pressed hard and the north koreans are feeling the pressure, we need to continue that pressure.
>> obviously, as of right now north korea feels the benefits of what they've been doing out weighs the cost, so how do we reverse that. there are as ambassador king has mentioned, already good number of sanctions, not necessarily on human rights, but various sanctions for the nuclear tests and the launching of so on. so i think it's important that proper message is sent on human rights as well. that there should be increased sanctions and pressure to clearly signal to north korea that this is just unacceptable. i mean, minister has elaborated on and, of course, we have mr.
we have grace joe. >> examples what's going on in the country and we have to draw the line and make sure that this is something the community is now going to accept, that there has to be change, right, whether it's the return of the abducted citizens, whether it's the closing down in north korea. and we have to really ask ourselves, are we doing enough. i don't think we are. so i think there should be more. >> thank you very much. japan is also considering measures such as issuing arrest
warrants, these are those who are involved in the carrying out, four principles that we uphold safety of all abductees immediate return and investigation to reveal the value and extradition of the criminals who were involved in the abductions. >> yes, we think that international warrant is must effective for those individuals and further as we investigate, those individuals, known individuals who are criminals, other individuals who had been involved becomes clear, then we may think of measures but we haven't gone to that stage yet and that is why we don't have any current plans of identifying other individuals, but japan is
thinking comprehensively to consider how we can resolve the abduction issue and if there are effective measures we will be implementing measures and our principles are dialogue action for action and based upon the principles we will be taking all measures available. and also as already mentioned by ambassador king and ambassador lee, pressure vis-a-vis north korea, clearly, obviously, north korea is very sensitive to various developments in the international community and there is a likelihood or i say even certainty that there's monitoring that they are monitoring this very symposium. so through the events like the one we're having today, we should tell them that there is one united voice in the international community to take action, not to tolerate what's on going in north korea. so each and every word you speak
in such solidarity, grace talked about what drip of water and, like she said, each individual step may be small, but when accumulated, we think that we can invite and we may be able to invite more positive action from north korea. i am not a politician, so i will not speak about the high-level i will discussions. i will leaf it ve it up to the specialty experts on this, but one point i would like to emphasize on this matter is that we, the families, and also it's important for all of us, including us families who understand the human right violation taking place in north korea and it's important to pass
those words to other people, the spread. the the speed of -- speed at which those words are communicated is also very important. we should not think of this as a human rights issue. it's a matter of life or death, so time is limited. there may be a family member or maybe my mother might die so we are so we are at such a juncture where time is important. it's a very very challenging time. in order in order to assure the term to the world. i think this is very important.
>> i'm not really familiar with the politic issues. but as formal abductor and human rights activists i will like to add several comments here. i believe inl government individuals or organizations, i really encourage them and i believe the government to encourage them and to help them to keep their work and keep do whatever they are doing, for
example example. example. and and the sending usbs and sending information into north korea. also big north korean along through the civilizations so i believe that's and changed their mind and individually and we needed to pressure them through the governments but we also has to change the individual people. south korea in the u.s. they are doing good job on this part. are we really ready to help those north korean abductors and
those prisoners and people -- from north korea. i wanted to prepare after the regime falls too. because right now so many refugees they change information about their experience and how horrible the north korean regime is. i believe i believe many of you already know that. after those people got released and came out of north korean so the so the resettlement, education and the pressure, all those three parts are very important to put efforts if they're in the u.s. or the international
community, thank you. >> the fact of this meeting, i think, has some significance. but the content has been superb. i want to thank em baambassador. we've touched on topics in terms of building international for change. things things we can take and thing longer term issues about how we help the north korean people after the regime is gone. we can spend hours fruitfully elaborating on each of these. but, one of us has a real job, grace joe and we need to let her get back to her job and so let me just conclude by asking everyone to join me in thanking this panel for their individual efforts and for coming so far to join us. [ applause ]
. therefore, this committee has undertaken such an >> investigation. >> on "real america" the 1975 church committee hearings convened to investigate the intelligence activities of the cia, fbi, irs, and the nsa. saturday night at 10:00 p.m. eastern, the commission questions committee staffers frederick schwartz and kirk smothers, detailing fbi abuses including attempted intimidation of martin luther king, jr. >> king there's one thing left for you to do, you know what it is. you have you have 34 days in which to do this this exact number has been selected for a specific reason. it's practical significance. >> then associate fbi director james adams admits to some of
the successes while defending a number of. then at 8:00 on "lectures in history" the rest of us may in a bad life see a death or two. they see hundreds. and so they're the first to sort of see patterns or shifts in how people are going out of the world. so so they are the one who sound the alarm. >> university of georgia profession sorry on the role of coroner and how they shed life on the emerging patterns of death within a society. sunday evening at 6:30 "secretary of state john kerry" who served in the vietnam war and later became a vocal opponent and later shares his view at the linden b. johnson at the texas library. >> they did not receive the benefits nor the treatment that they not only deserve, but needed and the fundamental contract between soldier and
government simply was not >> uttered. >> then at 8:00 on the >> presidency. >> one other person sitting at home watching tv, watched reagan delivered the speech, it was dwight eisenhower. he immediately called his former attorney general and said, what a fine speech ronald reagan had just delivered. he then called a former special assistant and said what an excellent speech ronald reagan had delivered. >> dwight eisenhower wrote back a multi step political plan for ronald reagan to follow. reagan would end up following eisenhower's advice to the >> letter. >> he examines the behind the scenes mentoring of ronald reagan and the pivotal role he played in the political revolution in the 1960s. .
we'll hear from diverse panel of experts on the impact this proposed rule would have on small businesses and organizations around the country and i want to thank all of our witnesses for being here today. in previous hearing this committee is focused on regulatory reform in light of how federal agencies often issue new rules and regulation that cause extreme undue burden on small businesses. as one of the most controversial labor regulations pushed by the
obama administration, the white collar over time exemption from the labor falls within this under under current rules most employs making up to $23,666 a year are automatically entitled to over time pay when working more than 40 hours per week. the proposed rule we're discussing today to earning up to $50,440. additionally, the proposed -- the proposal sets the minimum threshold at the 40th percentile of weekly earnings for full time salary workers, meaning the amount could increase every year going forward. while president obama's administration believes this is the correct increase pay for workers will actually have the amount effect for small business
he resides in new orleans where he oversees the operations of more than 10 restaurants across the country. in addition to his responsibilities he's a board member of the louisiana restaurant association, the louisiana hospitality the foundation. the new orleans tourism and marketing foundation. mr. ross, has been the vice president of the economic policy institute in washington, d.c. since 2003. he focuses on labor and employment law along pension and regulatory policy. ms. nancy duncan is the associate vice president of human resources for operation smile, a nonprofit federal service dedicated to providing clef lip pallet repair surgeries. she's she's based out of virginia beach and has more than two
decades of hr experience. so, again, welcome to all of you, thank you for being here and we'll start with ms. m >> >> mr. chairman and members of the committee, thank you for giving me the opportunity to speak with you today regarding how the department's changes to the over time regulations will impact small businesses. of course, most concerns of small business is the department's proposal to increase the minimum level for exemption by 113% for the current 26. the purpose of setting a minimum salary level as the department itself has stated since 1949 is to provide a method of screening out the obviously nonexempt employees. d.o.l. d.o.l. proposed does exactly the opposite. excluding excluding from the exemption many employees who obviously performed exempt duties, including employees found to be exempt by department investigators and the federal such such a large increase is
unprecedented in the effort of 77 year history and using any reasonable method to set them yields a much lower number. 30,000, for example, the salary level if the department used its methodology from 2004, setting it to exclude from the exexemption lowest 20th percentile bringing the retail and the south. 32,000, the salary level if the department applied increases in the employment cost indexed since 2004. 34,000, the salary level if the department used the methodology from 1958, so i think that salary level to exclude the lowest 10% of employees found in dol investigations to be exempt and lowest wage regions and lowest wage industries and smallest businesses. 35,000, the minimum salary will require exception under the laws of new york, also by the way, the salary level if the department looked to the historical percentage of
increases from 1938 through 2004. 42,000, the minimum 42,000, the minimum salary required required for exemption under the laws of california also by the way the starting salary for federal government employees with master's degrees. instead of using any of these reasonable methods, the department arrived at 54, a number higher than higher, new york or california both high cost of living states and it is it is irresponsible particularly with the economic news to use the nationwide data that fails to distinguish salaries by region, industry, size of business or size of city. i am not suggesting that we adopt different salary levels for different regions for industries which would be a compliance nightmare for i am i am stating that the minimum salary has to be set at the level that will work for high-income and low-income states for high profit, low profit industries.
for large, small and nonprofit businesses and large cities and in small rural communities. the purpose of the salary level is to exclude, obviously, non, the duties test in the regulation then come into play once obviously nonexempt have been eliminated for 77 years it has been the duties test that serves as the primary method of distinguishing exempt for nonexempt of identifying who is the executive administration and professional employee. let me close with four good points, first thousands of small business owners and advocates and even more nonprofit businesses to the proposed rule including the advocacy, national federation independent businesses and national association of women's small business owners. second, both the sba office of advocacy included that want department's flexibility grossly under estimates the cost of the rule small business. i was shocked by the department's low ball estimate
of the amount and i'll never my client time on the compliance. third, the cost of small businesses will be higher if the department decides to automatically increase the salary levels over here or to make changes to the duties test. finally, increasing the salary level to 54/40 or even to the 47,000 that politico recently reported will not result in giving america a raise, employees are unlikely to see higher paychecks. the small business owners i have talked to cannot afford to give a salary increase or pay over so so they must adjust in other ways. demoting demoting management employees to hourly workers, requiring them to clock in and out, closely monitoring the hours they work. decreasing the flexibility to take time off for family with out losses and pay, taking away bonuses and other employee benefits and depriving employees of opportunities for the the one thing small businesses cannot do, is redistribute money they do not have.
thank you. >> thank you for the opportunity to testify today about the to up dwat under the fair labor standards act. i'm any is sarita gupta. jobs of justice is independent nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing working peoples rights in an economy that benefits all americans. we bring together labor, community, faith and student voices at the national and local levels network of coalitions across the country. a jobs of justice we believe the fair level standard acts protection are central to ensuring that all americans can enjoy the country's pros sparety to which they contribute the united states congress recognized in 1938 what today's working women and menopause to still to be true.
economic stability can be achieved through family supporting wages and hours. if today's employees are to realize the laws basic promise of reprieve from over work in order to spend time with their families, the flsas over time protections must be strengthened and protected. we believe the u.s. department of labors proposal to adjust the salaried test for determining over time el blt wiigible blt w just that. raising it in 2016 will broadly benefit millions of working people, whether they're newly eligible for over time protections or more squarely protected against over time misclassification that can occur under the more ambiguous duties tasks. the the current threshold covers only 8% of salaried employees today. employers employers are even currently within their rights to deny over
time pay to employees who earn less than the poverty level for a family of four. real lives will change for the better by updating the over time rules. real real people like wanda womack, managing a dollar general store in alabama. wanda put in 50 to 70 hours a week, most of it spent doing nonexempt work, like running the cash register and unloading merchandise from trucks. part-time, hourly employees also stand to benefit from a higher salary threshold. too many people who stock the shelves, sweep the floors and service food are working fewer hours than they would like. in our recent study of employers' scheduling practices in washington, d.c.'s service sector, 80% of survey respondents told us it was very important or somewhat important that they received more hours. many of these individuals will likely have an opportunity to gain additional hours as
employers shipped assignments from overworked workers previously exempted from overtime protections. as a non-profit employer, i also had to assess the proposed update to the overtime regulations. the the proposed overtime rule update will require some of our local coalitions to examine and amend their employment we we believe this is a positive developme a a higher salary threshold will require jobs with justice and non-profits like us to promote practices that allow people to spend more time with their families, likely increasing employee satisfaction and lowering burnout rates along the way. this is this is good for our employees, for our organizations and for the people we strive to serve. i know some non-profit organizations have expressed concerns about the proposed overtime rule update and the impact it could have on their i i also know that much of the concern for non-profits' ability to comply with updated overtime rules have been raised by
big-business lobby groups that do not typically advocate for the interests of non-profits or the people served by them. these concerns are vastly overstated, and frankly, they dismiss the rights of working peop employees employees of non-profits deserve a fair return on their work. i know firsthand that for non-profit employees the work, while often rewarding, can be stressful, emotionally tolling and lower paying. these conditions only further substantiate the need for non-profit employees to have time away from work to recharge and to reconnect with family and friends, just as was intended by flsa. non-profits non-profits that contract with state medicaid departments can push the state to increase rate many many states revisit their medicaid budgets throughout the year since medicaid costs fluctuate based on the economy, enrollment, eligibility and other factors. the state's investment will be less than many people may the the federal match for medicaid spending can range from 50% to
74%, depending on the state. regardless, no non-profit should condone a business model that only succeeds based on its ability to take advantage of its employees through lax overtime the the flsa was enacted with the belief that americans should earn a fair day's pay for a fair day's work. yet today the inverse is too for see too many employees. the administration's proposed update to the flsa rules will be a crucial step to restoring the basic tenant of economic fa fairness, one that should apply to all people, no matter the industry they work in or the size of their employer. in the interest of time, i'll reserve the remainder of my comments and take questions from the committee members. thank you. >> thank you very much. now mr. montilla, welcome. >> thank you, chairman. good morning, chairman vitter and distinguished members of the co thank you thank you for the opportunity to testify today on the impact of the proposed overtime regulation would have on restaurants like
mine and the concerns we have with some of the ideas floated by the department of labor for final regulation. my name is octavio montilla. i am co-owner of the besh restaurant group. i am honored to share the perspectives of my company. today my testimony will focus on some of the issues that my company and the industry have been struggling with in preparing for potential changes to the current overtime at the at the end of the day, i need to ensure that the besh restaurant group is fully compliant with the law while remaining economically healthy and the the three main issues that i would like to address today include adjustments to the duties being considered, the proposed salary level and the proposed automatic increases. i would also like to point out the overall overtime regulatory proposal is adding a tremendous amount of uncertainty created by the amount of federal
regulations from the last five i years. i was born in nicaragua. i moved to new orleans as a child. at at the age of 16, i got my first job in a restaurant as a dishwasher and later waited i i continued to work and make my way up. i eventually moved through all managerial levels. while working in the industry, i earned a bachelors degree from tulane university and an mba from the university of new orleans. i would i would not have been able to achieve these milestones without the flexibility that being a manager provided me. as a manager, while making less than many waiters, i had more flexibility to manage my work schedule and attend classes. the flexibility of being on salary was a big help to me. i would not be where i am today without opportunity. after graduating, i helped at harrah's casino and hotel in
casino and then worked in missouri as director of operations. i have i have opened numerous restaurants for harrah's my story my story is repeated in our industry over and over. in fact, nine in ten restaurant managers started in entry-level positio eight eight in ten restaurant owners also began in our industry with an entry-level position. doing away with the flexibility, entry-level salary managers have to, among other things, go back and forth to work, to school, with diminish professional growth and opportunities in our industry. i i returned to new orleans to be reunited with my friend, chabchon besh. we became partners in besh restaurant group. since becoming john's partner, we have expanded to include several additional restaurants, one of them being chaya voted best new restaurant in america last week and modern israeli
cuisine restaurant. with my partner, israeli-born an al shaya, who also was an entry-level managers. as to the duties test, it is clear to operators in the industry that any reduction in litigation the department seeks to obtain with the proposed rules increase in the salary threshold would be lost if the changes being considered to the duties test becomes final. a long duties test would mandate a percentage limitation on non-exempt work than a manager can perform. the problem with the long duties test structure are well known, also acknowledged by the department of labor in 2004 overtime rule. in the 2004, the department stated that a strict percentage limitations on nonexempt work in the long duties test would impose significant managerial requirements and record-keeping burdens. in in our industries, managers need to have a hands-on approach to
ensure that operations move any any attempt to artificially cap the amount of time exempt employees can spend on nonexempt work would place significant work burdens on restaurants, increase labor costs, cause customer service to suffer and result in an increase in wage and hourly litigation. just imagine a manager in a restaurant not being able to fill up a glass of water for you or having to write it down during a service period. it's just not possible. as to the minimum salary threshold, the department believes the proposed salary level does not exclude from exemption an unacceptably high number of employees who meet the duties test. however, when applied to my restaurant, the contrary is true. even even before adjusting for regional and economic differences, most managers in our industry do not meet the proposed salary level of $970
per week. some of the employees who would qualify as exempt under the new proposed salary level only if the department allowed bonuses to be calculated the employee salary level. furthermore, the main angle salary pay to crew and shift supervisors in our industry is $38 it is it is clear that at least in reference to the restaurant industry, the proposed salary level does exclude for an exemption a high number of employee i think i think i'll stop there for the purpose of time. >> okay. thank you very much, mr. montilla. and and next we'll hear from mr. >> >> thank you for inviting me today, mr. chairman and committee members. in my five minutes, i'll make five points. first, america's middle class has suffered through decades of wage stagnation and rising inequality that can't be corrected without changes in a range of federal policies that
have worked against them. those changes include restoring appropriate tax rates on high incomes and inheritances, raising the minimum wage, fixing overtime rules, enacting paid leave and fair scheduling legislation, ending unfair trade practices and giving employees the right to bargain collectively. two, two, the department's updated salary threshold will help. it's long overdue and much needed. the the rule will raise wages for some employees, reduce excessive work hours for others and create jobs. no one no one paid less than $50,000 a year should work more than 40 hours a week without additional compensation. three, three, indexing the salary threshold for exemption as wages and prices increase is critically important and well within the department's autho four, four, employees will adjust to the rule as they did to the original fair labor standards act and every improvement in the law and regulations since then. california, it's important to note, the state with the