“For many families, especially with young children, their most precious commodity is time,” said Sen. Lee. “But today, federal labor laws restrict the way moms and dads and everyone else can use their time. For decades, Congress has given a special exemption from these laws to government employees. This is unacceptable. The same work-life options available to government employees should be available to private-sector workers, as well.”
“I am excited about the Working Families Flexibility Act gaining traction in the Senate, and I appreciate Sen. Mike Lee stepping forward to introduce a companion bill,” said Rep. Roby. “Talk to any working mom and dad and they’ll tell you they need more time – just one more hour in the day to make life work. We can’t legislate another hour in the day, but we can help working people better balance the demands of family and work by removing an unnecessary federal restriction on utilizing comp time in the private sector.”
Rep. Roby’s “Working Families Flexibility Act”, H.R. 1406, passed the House of Representatives in May. Sen. Lee’s bill is cosponsored by Sens. Coburn, Cruz, Hatch, Johnson, Paul, Risch, Roberts, and Rubio.
How It Works
• Gives private-sector employers the ability to offer their employees the option of comp time or overtime pay, both accrued at 11Ž2 times the overtime hours worked. Federal, State & local governments are currently allowed to offer comp time to their employees, but private-sector employers are banned from doing so by federal law.
• Requires employers who decide to offer this option to their employees to establish a written agreement with the employee outlining the options and to allow each employee to voluntarily choose the option that best fits his needs.
• Requires that comp time agreements be included in the collective bargaining agreement negotiated between the union and the employer for any employee represented by a union.
• Allows employees who choose to accrue comp time to accrue up to 160 hours each year.
• Allows employees to “cash out” their accrued comp time at the traditional overtime pay rate at any time throughout the year.
• Maintains all existing employee protections, including the current 40-hour workweek and overtime accrual, and provides additional safeguards to ensure that the choice to use comp time is voluntary.
• Requires employers to pay employees at the traditional overtime rate for any unused comp time at the end of each calendar year.
What It Does
• Ends the unfair discrimination against private-sector employees
• Enables parents to better balance work and family obligations
• Frees all workers to choose which commodity – time or money – is the more important resource at a given time
• Lessens the burden of unnecessary federal regulation