WASHINGTON – Congressman Andy Barr released the following statement upon passage of the Working Families Flexibility Act of 2013 (H.R. 1406), legislation that will help Americans balance family and work by allowing private-sector workers to choose paid time off or ‘comp time’ in lieu of cash wages for working overtime hours:
“We may not be able to 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. This legislation modernizes outdated federal overtime laws to provide options for workers who value extra paid time off more than money.”
“Now more than ever working parents need greater control over their time. An outdated policy that only benefits federal employees shouldn't deny workers in the private sector the chance to spend more time with their children, attend parent-teacher conferences, or care for an aging relative. This is a commonsense proposal that is desperately needed in today's workplaces.”
Janey Moores, President and Owner of BJM Staffing in Lexington, said “The Working Families Flexibility Act gives businesses and employees the option to manage their own budgets, as well as their work schedules, at their choosing. I am an enthusiastic “YES!” vote for this bill and appreciate my Congressman’s support for such important legislation.”
FACTS ABOUT H.R. 1406 - THE WORKING FAMILIES FLEXIBILITY ACT OF 2013:
- Allows employers to offer employees a choice between cash wages and comp time for overtime hours worked. Employees who want to receive cash wages would continue to do so. No employee can be forced to take comp time instead of receiving overtime pay.
- Protects employees by requiring the employer and the employee to complete a written agreement to use comp time, entered into knowingly and voluntarily by the employee. Where the employee is represented by a union, the agreement to take comp time must be part of the collective bargaining agreement negotiated between the union and the employer.
- Retains all existing employee protections in current law, including the 40 hour work week and how overtime compensation is accrued. The bill adds additional safeguards for workers to ensure the choice and use of comp time are truly voluntary.
- Allows employees to accrue up to 160 hours of comp time each year. An employer would be required to pay cash wages for any unused time at the end of the year. Workers are free to ‘cash out’ their accrued comp time whenever they choose to do so.
- In 1985, Ted Kennedy, Harry Reid, Joe Biden, and Steny Hoyer supported giving public sector employees the flexibility to choose comp time, and the opportunity for these workers to choose it has been the standard ever since. Now, nearly 30 years later, the House is simply providing the same freedom to private-sector employees.