JACKSONVILLE, Fla.-May 3,2017- New bill H.R. 1180, or Working Families Flexibility Act 2017-2018, proposes working class earn compensation for paid time off instead of being paid time and a half for overtime.
The bill, presented by Rep. Martha Roby (R-AL) and 17 other co-sponsors, is backed by the Trump Administration and was passed yesterday in a 229-197 vote, with no democrat in favor and 4 representatives not voting at all.
H.R. 1180- Working Families Flexibility Act
H.R. 1180 amends the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) to give private-sector employees the option of selecting compensatory time off in lieu of cash for overtime wages. An employee will be able to choose, based upon a voluntary agreement with his or her employer, to have his or her overtime compensated with paid time off. This option has been available for federal, state, and local governments for many years.
The legislation does not change the 40-hour work week and does not change the rate of compensation of non-exempt employees. The legislation provides employees strong protections against the coercive use of compensatory time. For example, the arrangement must be an expressly mutual agreement between employee and employer, and may not be a condition of employment. To be eligible, an employee must have worked at least 1,000 hours in a period of continuous employment with the employer during the preceding 12-month period and an agreement must be affirmed by a written or otherwise verifiable statement.
An employee can accrue up to 160 hours of compensatory time each year and any unused time must be paid out at the end of the year or at the end of employment with the employer.
Democrats were in strong opposition; mainly because the law does not allow or has a loophole for employers to have a final say in what time can be used, deterring fair compensation for overtime work.
The White House issued the following press release on H.R. 1180:
STATEMENT OF ADMINISTRATION POLICY
H.R. 1180 – Working Families Flexibility Act of 2017
(Rep. Roby, R-AL, and 17 cosponsors)
The Administration supports H.R. 1180, the Working Families Flexibility Act of 2017. H.R. 1180 would amend the Fair Labor Standards Act to allow private-sector employers to give their employees the choice to receive paid time off instead of cash payments for each hour of time for which overtime compensation would otherwise be required. The bill would extend to private-sector workers a choice that public-sector employees have long enjoyed.
H.R. 1180 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. In addition, H.R. 1180 contains critical protections to ensure employees can continue to choose overtime pay and to prohibit employers from coercing their employees to accept compensatory time instead of overtime pay.
If H.R. 1180 were presented to the President in its current form, his advisors would recommend that he sign the bill into law.
The bill will go on to the senate before reaching the executive branch to become law.