Thursday, April 02, 2020
Hawai'i Free Press

Current Articles | Archives

Friday, February 13, 2015
HB558: Curbing Overtime Abuse
By Grassroot Institute @ 3:26 PM :: 3417 Views :: Hawaii State Government, Labor

Grassroot Testimony on Proposed Changes To Overtime Rules

To: House Committee on Labor & Public Employment

Rep. Mark Nakashima, Chair

Rep. Jarrett Keohokalole, Vice Chair

From: Grassroot Institute of Hawaii, President Keli’i Akina, Ph.D.

RE: HB 558 — RELATING TO OVERTIME

Dear Chair and Committee Members:     February 10, 2015

The Grassroot Institute of Hawaii would like to offer its comments on HB 558, which would limit overtime compensation for public employees to only those hours worked in excess of forty hours per work week. The bill further excludes hours taken as paid time off from the calculation of the forty hours.

The problem of overtime abuse has recently become an important issue in a state that is working to become more efficient in its operations and improve accountability to taxpayers. A study by the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii found that state and county governments paid at least $77 million in overtime in FY 2014. The state paid nearly $60 million in overtime pay last year, with the departments of public safety, transportation, and health making up the largest proportion of overtime pay.[1]  The County of Kauai paid $7 million in overtime, and Maui County paid almost $10 million in overtime last year.

While we recognize the importance of having sufficient staff to fill key roles—especially when the safety and health of our citizens are at stake, it is undeniable that a portion of the overtime costs is due to departmental inefficiencies and employees who are able to “game the system” to significantly inflate their base pay. A KHON report found corrections officers who were able to nearly double their salary, taking it from a base of $52,536 base to $104,169 via overtime. Other offenders who were able to greatly increase their pay, often going from five figure to six figure salaries at the expense of the state, were state hospital RN’s ($80,000 base plus $40,023 in overtime), another level of corrections officer ($46,548 base plus $75,573 in overtime), and a state hospital psychiatric technician ($38,556 base plus $27,272 in overtime).

A separate investigation of overtime abuses at the Hawaii State Hospital found multiple examples of coordinated and intentional efforts on the part of employees to inflate their pay via overtime loopholes.[2] Using a combination of sick leave and overtime benefits, six employees were able to cost the state nearly 7400 hours of overtime (totaling more than $200,000 in overtime pay) in 2013 alone.

In addition to the abuse of public trust that is taking place through such examples of overtime fraud, there is also the effect on the quality of work produced in this matter. In the case of the Hawaii State Hospital report, the prevalence of overtime abuse led to staff shortages, affecting the overall quality of care provided and endangering both staff and patients.

The proposed bill takes important steps towards curbing overtime abuse by closing two of the major loopholes in granting overtime—the ability to gain overtime for a partial workweek and the use of sick leave to “boost” a work shift into the overtime category.

Transparent and accountable government must include a willingness to respond to such corruption when it comes to light. This is not only because the state has a responsibility to the taxpayers, but also because allowing fraud to continue has a correspondingly negative effect on the quality of the services provided. Until waste and the incentive to “game the system” are eliminated, we will continue to drain the state budget and foster mismanagement at every level of government.

Thank you for the opportunity to submit our comments.

Sincerely,

Keli’i Akina, Ph.D.

President, Grassroot Institute of Hawaii

1 Study available at http://www.openhawaii.org

2 Available at http://khon2.com/2014/11/06/overtime-abuse-allows-some-public-employees-to-double-triple-their-salaries/.

3 See http://www.hawaiifreepress.com/Portals/0/Article%20Attachments/hshfinalreport%202014-0897.pdf and http://news.heartland.org/newspaper-article/2014/12/05/hawaii-state-hospital-employees-game-overtime-system.

Links

TEXT "follow HawaiiFreePress" to 40404

Register to Vote

2aHawaii

808 Silent Majority

808 State Update AM940

ABCDEFG Blog

ACA Signups Hawaii

ACCE

ALEC

Alliance Defending Freedom

Aloha Life Advocates

Aloha Pregnancy Care Center

American Council of Trustees and Alumni

American Mothers of Hawaii

AMVETS-Hawaii

AntiPlanner

Antonio Gramsci Reading List

A Place for Women in Waipio

Astronomy Hawaii

Audit The Rail

Ballotpedia Hawaii

Better Hawaii 

Blaisdell Memorial Project

Broken Trust 

Build More Hawaiian Homes Working Group

CAFR Hawaii

Castaway Conservative

Children's Alliance Hawaii

Children's Rights Institute

ChinaTownWatch.com

Christian Homeschoolers of Hawaii

Citizens for Recall

Cliff Slater's Second Opinion

Coffee Break

CSIS Pacific Forum

DAR Hawaii

DeedySupport.com

DVids Hawaii

E Hana Kakou Kelii Akina

E Māua Ola i Moku o Keawe

Farmers For Choice Hawaii

FIRE

Fix Oahu!

Follow the Money Hawaii

Frank in Hawaii

Front Page Magazine

Frontline: The Fixers

Genetic Literacy Project

Get Off Your Butts!

God, Freedom, America

Grassroot Institute

Habele.org

Hawaii Aganst Assisted Suicide

Hawaii Aquarium Fish Report

Hawaii Aviation Preservation Society

Hawaii Catholic TV

Hawaii Christian Coalition

Hawaii Cigar Association

Hawaii Coalition Against Legalized Gambling

Hawaii ConCon Info

Hawaii Credit Union Watch

Hawaii Crime Victims' Rights

Hawaii Crop Improvement Association

Hawaii Debt Clock

Hawaii Defending Marriage

Hawaii Defense Foundation

Hawaii Families for Educational Choice

Hawaii Family Advocates

Hawaii Family Forum

Hawaii Farmers and Ranchers United

Hawaii Farmer's Daughter

Hawaii Federalist Society

Hawaii Federation of Republican Women

Hawaii Firearm Community

Hawaii Fishermen's Alliance

Hawaii Future Project

Hawaii Gathering of Eagles

Hawaii History Blog

Hawaii Homeschool Association

Hawaii Jihadi Trial

Hawaii March for Life

Hawaii Meth Project

Hawaii's Partnership for Appropriate & Compassionate Care

Hawaii Public Charter School Network

Hawaii Rifle Association

Hawaii Right to Life -- Big Island

Hawaii Right to Life -- Oahu

Hawaii Shield Law Coalition

Hawaii Shippers Council

Hawaii Smokers Alliance

Hawaii State Data Lab

Hawaii Together

Heritage Foundation

HI Coalition Against Legalized Gambling

HIEC.Coop 

HiFiCo

Hiram Fong Papers

Homeschool Legal Defense Hawaii

Honolulu Homeless Crisis

Honolulu Navy League

Honolulu Traffic

Horns of Jericho Blog

House Minority Blog

House Republican Caucus YouTube

HPACC

Hump Day Report

I Vote Hawaii

If Hawaii News

Imua TMT

Inouye-Kwock, NYT 1992

Inside the Nature Conservancy

Inverse Condemnation

Investigative Project on Terrorism

Iowa Meets Maui

Jackson v Abercrombie

Jihad Watch

Judgepedia Hawaii

July 4 in Hawaii

Kahle v New Hope

Kakaako Cares

Kau TEA Party

Kauai Co GOP

Keep Hawaii's Heroes

KeyWiki

Land and Power in Hawaii

Legislative Committee Analysis Tool

Lessons in Firearm Education

Lingle Years

Malulani Foundation

Managed Care Matters -- Hawaii

Malama Pregnancy Center of Maui

Mauna Kea Recreational Users Group

MentalIllnessPolicy.org

Middle East Forum--The Legal Project

Mililani Conservatives for Change

Military Home Educators' Network Oahu

Missile Defense Advocacy

MIS Veterans Hawaii

Muslim Brotherhood in America

NAMI Hawaii

NARTH

Natatorium.org

National Christian Foundation Hawaii

National Parents Org Hawaii

National Wind Watch

New Zeal

NFIB Hawaii News

No GMO Means No Aloha

Northwest Economic Policy Seminar

Not Dead Yet, Hawaii

Now What I Really Think

NRA-ILA Hawaii

Oahu Alternative Transport

ObamaCare Abortion Hawaii

Obookiah

OHA Lies

Opt Out Today

OurFutureHawaii.com

Pacific Aviation Museum

Patients Rights Council Hawaii

PEACE Hawaii

People vs Machine

Pritchett Cartoons 

Pro-GMO Hawaii

P.U.E.O.

RailRipoff.com

Rental by Owner Awareness Assn

Republican Party -- Hawaii State

Research Institute for Hawaii USA

Rick Hamada Show

RJ Rummel

Robotics Organizing Committee

School Choice in Hawaii

SenatorFong.com

SIFE Remington

SIFE W. Oahu 

Sink the Jones Act

Smart About Marijuana--Hawaii

St Marianne Cope

State Budget Solutions Hawaii

State Policy Network

Statehood for Guam

Tax Foundation of Hawaii

The Harriet Tubman Agenda

The Long War Journal

The Real Hanabusa

Time Out Honolulu

Trustee Akina KWO Columns

Truth About Trade & Technology - Hawaii

UCC Truths

Union Members Know Your Rights

US Tax Foundation Hawaii Info

Valor in the Pacific

VAREP Honolulu

Waagey.org

West Maui Taxpayers Association

What Natalie Thinks

Whole Life Hawaii

Yes2TMT