This week I spoke with my Workforce Institute colleagues Sue Meisinger and Andy Brantley about the Working Families Flexibility Act currently making its way through Congress. If passed, this Act would enable private sector employers to offer comp time in lieu of overtime pay to their hourly workers. This has been the case for public sector employees since 1985.
This change would represent a significant change to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) for private sector employers and workers, and the bill has generated a lot of public debate about whether passage of this Act is good or bad for those workers. Proponents believe this Act will provide workers with needed flexibility. Detractors believe this is ultimately an anti-worker bill that will result in employers avoiding overtime pay that their workers are due.
Both Sue and Andy have given this legislation a fair amount of consideration in recent weeks. Andy testified before Congress in support of the bill, and Sue wrote about it in this week’s HRE online. Both are skeptical it will ultimately become law. During our conversation, we discussed the following questions:
- Does the Act give workers flexibility in trading overtime for comp time or does it further erode protections previously given to America’s workers by robbing them of overtime pay as required by the Fair Labor Standards Act?
- Unions have come out against the bill – why?
- Whether this bill passes or not, what are best practices employers can use to provide better flexibility to working families?
You can download and listen to a podcast of our conversation here:
If you’d like to learn more about the Act, you can find a collection of supporting documents here.
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