House Passes Working Families Flexibility Act

May 2, 2017

Bill offers private sector workers same benefit as government employees on how to use their comp time  

WASHINGTON – U.S. Representative Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson today supported a bill that will give private sector employees more flexibility in the workplace and more control of how to use their comp time.

The American workforce has changed dramatically over the years, and the needs of workers in the 21st century have changed as well. Yet workers are held back by outdated federal workforce rules from the 1930s. That’s why the House today passed the Working Families Flexibility Act of 2017 (H.R. 1180). This pro-worker, pro-family proposal gives private-sector workers a choice to accrue paid time off in lieu of cash wages for overtime hours worked — a choice that has long been afforded to government employees.

“Hard-working Americans add indisputable value to our country’s changing economy, and it is only fair that we modernize overtime compensation and provide employees with option to best meets their needs,” Thompson said. “As a senior member of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, I am proud to support this common-sense measure, and further provide individuals and families the workplace flexibility they deserve.”

The House passed the measure this evening by a vote of 229-197. It will now be sent to the Senate for further consideration.

WORKING FAMILIES FLEXIBILITY ACT:

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 cash wages.

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 workweek 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 at the overtime rate of time-and-a-half 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.