Published: Sat, May 06, 2017
Global | By Maureen Mccoy

House Passes Comp Time Bill

House Passes Comp Time Bill

The Working Families Flexibility Act - which has the support of President Donald Trump's administration - would allow employers to give workers paid time off rather than overtime pay for logging extra hours, according to CNN.

"We can update our laws to allow more choice and fairness in how employees use their time", Rep. Martha Roby of Alabama, the measure's sponsor, said on the House floor Tuesday. But organizations that give voice to workers say the legislation gives the flexibility and choice to employers, not employees. "Unfortunately, today's labor laws make it harder to offer this flexibility".

Democrats predicted some employees who'd prefer time-and-a-half pay for overtime would feel obligated to take comp time instead, and enforcing the bill's anti-coercion provisions would require resources most workers don't have.

If they change their minds and want the pay after all, employees would have the option of 'cashing out, ' with the employer required to pay the overtime within 30 days.

Accrued comp time may be used "within a reasonable period after making the request if the use of the compensatory time does not unduly disrupt the operations of the employer", the measure said. Under the bill, employers could withhold overtime pay for a long time, which otherwise would be a violation of the FLSA, and it undermines the 40 hours workweek mechanism, he said.

The public sector already has this option available and Republicans say that private business should as well. The bill hasn't yet been voted on by the Senate, and similar bills haven't passed the Senate in the past.

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The bill passed the House with no Democratic support.

An employee can not accrue not more than 160 hours of "comp time". It's possible that the Senate could pass the bill, Fortney added, but if the Senate votes in a similar manner, the measure could face a filibuster there.

Among those principles, she said, were creating a competitive environment and giving states more flexibility to make decisions about the healthcare system.

The bill "would help American workers balance the competing demands of family and work by giving them flexibility to earn paid time off-time they can later use for any reason, including family commitments like attending school appointments and caring for a sick child", the White House said in a statement. But opponents say it would stomp on overtime pay rights granted under the 1938 Fair Labor Standards Act - and won't benefit workers in reality.

The White House said on Friday it expects the Senate to retain the "principles" of the healthcare bill approved by the House of Representatives on Thursday even as it makes some changes.

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