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(Gulf News)   Indian diplomat who was caught paying her maid below the minimum wage: "The maid was trying to blackmail me" Asking for minimum wage isn't really blackmail, but what would you like me to play on this tiny violin?   (gulfnews.com) divider line 223
    More: Followup, Indians, forged document, Preet Bharara, Secretary of State John Kerry, US Department of State, diplomats, US Marshals Service, visa fraud  
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5746 clicks; posted to Main » on 19 Dec 2013 at 9:34 AM (38 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-12-19 02:41:25 PM

The WindowLicker: If you know enough similarities to make the connection, you also know enough to see how different the cases are.


I do.  The point was more to give an example where a diplomat did something clearly wrong according to the foreign government that we still defended.

The WindowLicker: If a foreign diplomat in the US shot two armed muggers, do you think there would be the same pushback?


I think there is a huge double standard between what the US expects of foreigners versus how the US expects to be treated.  There seems to be this we respect your laws, you respect our laws but by the way, when they intersect, we're right.

Don't get me wrong, I kinda like it that way.  All I'm saying in those posts is I at least understand why the Indian government is upset and I understand why the Indian public doesn't give a shiat about the $3/hour thing.
 
2013-12-19 02:54:16 PM

joness0154: justtray: Elroydb: Come on John Kerry FIX IT. India is strong ally of us and we don't need minor things to spiral out of control. I have an idea - be HONEST with what went on, admit that the NYPD isn't always your kind and gentle police force (I don't think a diplomat needed to be STRIP SEARCHED and if that is standard procedure for all arrested individuals in NYC that worries me greatly) and see what give and take we need to do for both parties to be made whole. This needs to be wrapped up as quickly and cleanly as possible

Also GodComblex you should read some of Hayek's works :o I find it hard to tell someone that they can't do something if they agreed upon it without force, fraud, or coercion. Which the latter two seemed to be at play

Everyone who goes into Gen Pop gets strip searched. Otherwise you get shanked from crazy people who hide contraband up their butt. Like your head.

A contract is not valid if it violates federal law or for a number of merit based reasons including but not limited to coercion or changing the terms of the contract at any point.

Minimum wage in the US is what it is because that's what it takes to SURVIVE living here. Not live confortably, but SURVIVE.

Contract issues aside (which appear to have been violated in this case), I don't see an issue paying $3/hour when housing, meals, etc. is provided.


A) You're assuming that they are provided
B) The reason why we don't allow this is because it's been abused in the past (company stores selling a 2 dollar shovel for 20, etc).
 
2013-12-19 03:03:31 PM

shortymac: joness0154: justtray: Elroydb: Come on John Kerry FIX IT. India is strong ally of us and we don't need minor things to spiral out of control. I have an idea - be HONEST with what went on, admit that the NYPD isn't always your kind and gentle police force (I don't think a diplomat needed to be STRIP SEARCHED and if that is standard procedure for all arrested individuals in NYC that worries me greatly) and see what give and take we need to do for both parties to be made whole. This needs to be wrapped up as quickly and cleanly as possible

Also GodComblex you should read some of Hayek's works :o I find it hard to tell someone that they can't do something if they agreed upon it without force, fraud, or coercion. Which the latter two seemed to be at play

Everyone who goes into Gen Pop gets strip searched. Otherwise you get shanked from crazy people who hide contraband up their butt. Like your head.

A contract is not valid if it violates federal law or for a number of merit based reasons including but not limited to coercion or changing the terms of the contract at any point.

Minimum wage in the US is what it is because that's what it takes to SURVIVE living here. Not live confortably, but SURVIVE.

Contract issues aside (which appear to have been violated in this case), I don't see an issue paying $3/hour when housing, meals, etc. is provided.

A) You're assuming that they are provided
B) The reason why we don't allow this is because it's been abused in the past (company stores selling a 2 dollar shovel for 20, etc).


That's funny, because the US does allow it provided various conditions are met.  See 29 CFR 531.

Like I said before, I was making a generality.  $3/hour plus housing/meals/etc. could be a huge benefit to some of those working in high cost of living areas that are currently making minimum wage, and provided it's not abused: revoking passports, working 24/7, paying less than contractually obligated, etc.
 
2013-12-19 03:08:51 PM

lennavan: I think there is a huge double standard between what the US expects of foreigners versus how the US expects to be treated. There seems to be this we respect your laws, you respect our laws but by the way, when they intersect, we're right.

Don't get me wrong, I kinda like it that way. All I'm saying in those posts is I at least understand why the Indian government is upset and I understand why the Indian public doesn't give a shiat about the $3/hour thing.


That is fair enough, and I can agree to an extent.  I just see it as not that much of a uniquely 'Murican way of looking at the world.  Every government acts this way in the international diplomatic arena.  On this specific issue, US diplomats need to be particularly careful to make sure that they follow host nation laws on employment because it is an issue that we hammer on all the time.
 
2013-12-19 03:15:30 PM

joness0154: ongbok: joness0154: justtray: Elroydb: Come on John Kerry FIX IT. India is strong ally of us and we don't need minor things to spiral out of control. I have an idea - be HONEST with what went on, admit that the NYPD isn't always your kind and gentle police force (I don't think a diplomat needed to be STRIP SEARCHED and if that is standard procedure for all arrested individuals in NYC that worries me greatly) and see what give and take we need to do for both parties to be made whole. This needs to be wrapped up as quickly and cleanly as possible

Also GodComblex you should read some of Hayek's works :o I find it hard to tell someone that they can't do something if they agreed upon it without force, fraud, or coercion. Which the latter two seemed to be at play

Everyone who goes into Gen Pop gets strip searched. Otherwise you get shanked from crazy people who hide contraband up their butt. Like your head.

A contract is not valid if it violates federal law or for a number of merit based reasons including but not limited to coercion or changing the terms of the contract at any point.

Minimum wage in the US is what it is because that's what it takes to SURVIVE living here. Not live confortably, but SURVIVE.

Contract issues aside (which appear to have been violated in this case), I don't see an issue paying $3/hour when housing, meals, etc. is provided.

The issue is because it is illegal to do so, even for diplomats

Minimum Wage. The contract must state the hourly wage to be paid to the domestic employee. The rate must be the greater of the minimum wage under U.S. Federal and state law, or the prevailing wage for all working hours. Information on the prevailing wage statistics by occupation and metropolitan area is available on the Department of Labor's Online Wage Library & Data Center website.

The contract must state that wages will be paid to the domestic employee either weekly or biweekly. As of March 2011, the Department determined that no deductions are allowed for lo ...

29 CFR 531 states that it is legal to do so under certain circumstances (can't be coerced, etc.).  Now I realize that it's different for those that come over on an A-3 visa, but I was speaking that generally I don't have an issue with it.


We are not talking about other situations, we are talking about this one. And even in other situations I seriously doubt the $300 a month she was paying would be legal under any circumstance in the U.S for live in help.
 
2013-12-19 03:43:16 PM

ongbok: We are not talking about other situations, we are talking about this one. And even in other situations I seriously doubt the $300 a month she was paying would be legal under any circumstance in the U.S for live in help.


Way to be dense.  I stated multiple times I was speaking generally.

Regardless, if you read the law, you'd know that $500/month *could* be legal if it meets certain criteria (the value of room/board/meals must be at least minimum wage, it must not be coerced, etc.).

Here.  Simplified for you:

http://www.employmentlawfirms.com/resources/employment/paycheck-dedu ct ions-and-minimum-wage.htm
 
2013-12-19 04:18:58 PM

UberDave: gopher321: "The case has sparked outrage across India, where the idea of an educated, middle-class woman facing a strip-search is almost unimaginable, except in the most brutal crimes. In an unusual step, the US attorney in Manhattan publicly defended Khobragade's treatment, and questioned why there was more outrage for Khobragade than for the housekeeper."
Looks like the caste system is still alive and well, congrats India.


You ever worked with someone from an upper caste *and* a lower caste in the same office?  Fun times.  Girl from upper caste was a gossipy shiat-bag who could barely crank out a SQL stored procedure and yakked on the phone most of the day.  Dude from lower caste was a superb coder who worked lots of free overtime.  She barely acknowledged him and when she did, it was often with arrogance and disdain.


I worked with 2 that got married. From what I heard it was quite the scandal. He was from the upper caste, she from the lower. His family disowned him until they had kids. From there they actually got to know her and liked her since she was 20 times smarter than her husband and they figured he would never do any better.
 
2013-12-19 04:45:30 PM

lennavan: yukichigai: Again, if said American diplomat was arrested not just for the wage issue but for the "lying about it on official documents" issue, I don't think there'd be that much outrage here.

What if the diplomat murdered two people?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raymond_Allen_Davis_incident


"Murdered" implies that the killings were done in cold blood without provocation.  What really happened there is about as clear as a mud puddle, but "dude shoots two guys trying to shoot him" is one of the many plausible possibilities for what really happened.

Regardless, even that incident didn't generate anywhere near the controversy this has.  If America can keep its shiat together when one of our guys is arrested on dubious murder charges, I think it's fair to ask India to keep its shiat together when we arrest one of theirs on not-dubious-at-all charges of lying on visa paperwork.
 
2013-12-19 04:47:12 PM
So, not hassled, extended every possible courtesy, had family of maid arrested, broke US laws,,,

media2.giphy.com

As they say in NYC, "fugetaboutit"
 
2013-12-19 04:49:51 PM

joness0154: ongbok: We are not talking about other situations, we are talking about this one. And even in other situations I seriously doubt the $300 a month she was paying would be legal under any circumstance in the U.S for live in help.

Way to be dense.  I stated multiple times I was speaking generally.

Regardless, if you read the law, you'd know that $500/month *could* be legal if it meets certain criteria (the value of room/board/meals must be at least minimum wage, it must not be coerced, etc.).

Here.  Simplified for you:

http://www.employmentlawfirms.com/resources/employment/paycheck-dedu ct ions-and-minimum-wage.htm


And I looked around on the internet at laws in a few states. And the common theme that pops up in every state regarding this is that lodging can be deducted at reasonable cost only when it is a benefit to the employee. In other words if the employer requires that the employee reside in a certain place, ie their home, then the cost of lodging cannot be deducted because that is a condition of employment and not a benefit to the employee.
 
2013-12-19 05:01:27 PM

joness0154: ongbok: We are not talking about other situations, we are talking about this one. And even in other situations I seriously doubt the $300 a month she was paying would be legal under any circumstance in the U.S for live in help.

Way to be dense.  I stated multiple times I was speaking generally.

Regardless, if you read the law, you'd know that $500/month *could* be legal if it meets certain criteria (the value of room/board/meals must be at least minimum wage, it must not be coerced, etc.).

Here.  Simplified for you:

http://www.employmentlawfirms.com/resources/employment/paycheck-dedu ct ions-and-minimum-wage.htm


What it comes down to is, in this case, and generally, you are wrong. And you realized this in your attempt to save face now speaking 'generally.'

You have no problem paying someone sub minimum wage under specific conditions. Other than an 'internship' which I also think should all be paid, I find this belief to be morally repugnant. Taking advantage of people just because you can is not something that should be promoted or celebrated.
 
2013-12-19 05:16:51 PM

justtray: joness0154: ongbok: We are not talking about other situations, we are talking about this one. And even in other situations I seriously doubt the $300 a month she was paying would be legal under any circumstance in the U.S for live in help.

Way to be dense.  I stated multiple times I was speaking generally.

Regardless, if you read the law, you'd know that $500/month *could* be legal if it meets certain criteria (the value of room/board/meals must be at least minimum wage, it must not be coerced, etc.).

Here.  Simplified for you:

http://www.employmentlawfirms.com/resources/employment/paycheck-dedu ct ions-and-minimum-wage.htm

What it comes down to is, in this case, and generally, you are wrong. And you realized this in your attempt to save face now speaking 'generally.'

You have no problem paying someone sub minimum wage under specific conditions. Other than an 'internship' which I also think should all be paid, I find this belief to be morally repugnant. Taking advantage of people just because you can is not something that should be promoted or celebrated.


I've been speaking in general terms since I came into this thread.

Here's 2 scenarios for you, since you don't seem to get it. Explain the morally repugnant part here (remember, this has nothing to do with this Indian diplomat scenario where there was a clear breach of contract and failure to abide by A-3 visa requirements, among other things):

Scenario 1
Employee in NYC gets paid minimum wage ($9.75), and works 40 hours/week.
Monthly Income: $1,560
Living Expenses: I don't even know how you could live in NYC for less than $1,560 a month, but lets assume $1,200 for housing/utilities/meals.

Net: $360

Scenario 2
Employee in NYC enters into a mutual contract with employer to provide housing/utilities/meals at an hourly wage of $3/hour.
Monthly Income: $480
Living Expenses: $0

Net: $480

Clearly a morally repugnant scenario.  Cue the outrage!
 
2013-12-19 05:57:35 PM

joness0154: I've been speaking in general terms since I came into this thread.

Here's 2 scenarios for you, since you don't seem to get it. Explain the morally repugnant part here (remember, this has nothing to do with this Indian diplomat scenario where there was a clear breach of contract and failure to abide by A-3 visa requirements, among other things):

Scenario 1
Employee in NYC gets paid minimum wage ($9.75), and works 40 hours/week.
Monthly Income: $1,560
Living Expenses: I don't even know how you could live in NYC for less than $1,560 a month, but lets assume $1,200 for housing/utilities/meals.

Net: $360

Scenario 2
Employee in NYC enters into a mutual contract with employer to provide housing/utilities/meals at an hourly wage of $3/hour.
Monthly Income: $480
Living Expenses: $0

Net: $480

Clearly a morally repugnant scenario. Cue the outrage!


The cost of lodging and board must be "reasonable" under the Fair Labor Standards Act before it may be included into the calculation to determine whether compensation meets a minimum wage (that is to say, the monetary compensation may be below minimum wage if the combined cost of lodging and meals are reasonable and would push the total compensation above minimum wage).

The determiner of what is reasonable value of the lodging and meals is the Secretary of Labor, who may be justified in looking at compensation by the employer or the average compensation of employers similarly situated (that is, people with live in maids).

I don't know about you, but I highly doubt that other employers of live-in maids in NYC pay their maids less than $500 a month, even when factoring in lodging and meals. Besides, based on what I've heard of the case thus far, the woman was suing Khobragade because she was living in a tiny closet (an actual closet and not merely a tiny room that many Manhattanites live in) and being forced to work 19 hours a day, I highly doubt that the situation would be legal in any circumstance.

Oh, also, because she was being forced to work 19 hours a day, 7 days a week for $480 a month, her actual compensation is more along the lines of $0.82 cents an hour. She wasn't even getting paid the $3.13 that the second contract promised her.

Tell me. Is it morally repugnant now?
 
2013-12-19 06:27:34 PM
Not a lawyer, nor a cop.

So I have to ask, is it normal for a person who pays under minimum wage to be arrested like that?
Wouldn't it be a civil suit without arrests?

/signed, befuddled
//break the law, pay the price. Just hope the laws are clear.
///underpaid, overworked slashies
 
2013-12-19 06:30:25 PM

Resident Muslim: Not a lawyer, nor a cop.

So I have to ask, is it normal for a person who pays under minimum wage to be arrested like that?
Wouldn't it be a civil suit without arrests?

/signed, befuddled
//break the law, pay the price. Just hope the laws are clear.
///underpaid, overworked slashies


She lied on the form that specifically says, "i contest under penalty OF PERGURY that all the statements here be true." Then the statements were found to be objectively and knowingly false, so she is being charged with a Felony. So yes, we arrest people commonly for Felonies.
 
2013-12-19 06:55:00 PM
I'm going to say this in every thread about this until it sticks:
When abroad you are subject to the laws and customs of your host nation. The DOS tries to hammer this into every American's thick skull.

Fark this chick, she broke the law, one that is related to a certain war we fought with each other. Don't do the crime if you can't do the time.
 
2013-12-19 08:44:01 PM

justtray: Resident Muslim: Not a lawyer, nor a cop.

So I have to ask, is it normal for a person who pays under minimum wage to be arrested like that?
Wouldn't it be a civil suit without arrests?

/signed, befuddled
//break the law, pay the price. Just hope the laws are clear.
///underpaid, overworked slashies

She lied on the form that specifically says, "i contest under penalty OF PERGURY that all the statements here be true." Then the statements were found to be objectively and knowingly false, so she is being charged with a Felony. So yes, we arrest people commonly for Felonies.


Thanks for the clarification, peppered with just a bit of snark.


/favorited
 
2013-12-19 09:36:59 PM
All the Steve's from Dell phone support are at work now and they are really hitting the CNN forums hard. Wait times may be increased. Try restarting your PC before you call. It may be awhile.
 
2013-12-19 09:38:29 PM

myrrh: joness0154: What was the point in arresting here to begin with?  India will just move her into a position where she WILL have diplomatic immunity.  She won't face trial or a judge for anything.

Diplomatic immunity is not retroactive ...


and it doesn't have to be granted. it is up to the host government to approve all requests. most are just rubber stamped...but not all.
 
2013-12-19 09:44:23 PM

steppenwolf: With the prison time her charges curry, she should have plenty of time to sitar and think of what she did.

/so, so sorry


Well, I'm sutteesfied.
 
2013-12-20 12:22:39 AM
human trafficking is bad
 
2013-12-20 10:14:14 AM

RexTalionis: joness0154: I've been speaking in general terms since I came into this thread.

Here's 2 scenarios for you, since you don't seem to get it. Explain the morally repugnant part here (remember, this has nothing to do with this Indian diplomat scenario where there was a clear breach of contract and failure to abide by A-3 visa requirements, among other things):

Scenario 1
Employee in NYC gets paid minimum wage ($9.75), and works 40 hours/week.
Monthly Income: $1,560
Living Expenses: I don't even know how you could live in NYC for less than $1,560 a month, but lets assume $1,200 for housing/utilities/meals.

Net: $360

Scenario 2
Employee in NYC enters into a mutual contract with employer to provide housing/utilities/meals at an hourly wage of $3/hour.
Monthly Income: $480
Living Expenses: $0

Net: $480

Clearly a morally repugnant scenario. Cue the outrage!
The cost of lodging and board must be "reasonable" under the Fair Labor Standards Act before it may be included into the calculation to determine whether compensation meets a minimum wage (that is to say, the monetary compensation may be below minimum wage if the combined cost of lodging and meals are reasonable and would push the total compensation above minimum wage).

The determiner of what is reasonable value of the lodging and meals is the Secretary of Labor, who may be justified in looking at compensation by the employer or the average compensation of employers similarly situated (that is, people with live in maids).

I don't know about you, but I highly doubt that other employers of live-in maids in NYC pay their maids less than $500 a month, even when factoring in lodging and meals. Besides, based on what I've heard of the case thus far, the woman was suing Khobragade because she was living in a tiny closet (an actual closet and not merely a tiny room that many Manhattanites live in) and being forced to work 19 hours a day, I highly doubt that the situation would be legal in any circumstance.

Oh, also, because she was being forced to work 19 hours a day, 7 days a week for $480 a month, her actual compensation is more along the lines of $0.82 cents an hour. She wasn't even getting paid the $3.13 that the second contract promised her.

Tell me. Is it morally repugnant now?


Not to most Libertarians. To them the government has no business telling any employer how to treat their workers.
 
2013-12-20 10:39:28 AM

justtray: She lied on the form that specifically says, "i contest under penalty OF PERGURY that all the statements here be true." Then the statements were found to be objectively and knowingly false, so she is being charged with a Felony. So yes, we arrest people commonly for Felonies.


They might want to update that form.
 
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