Roby to Re-introduce Working Families Flexibility Act
Removing an outdated federal restriction on paid time off for private sector workers is one way to help hardworking taxpayers balance the demands of work and family, U.S. Representative Martha Roby (R-AL) said Thursday.
Rep. Roby said she plans to re-introduce the Working Families Flexibility Act as soon as next week. The bill would allow private sector employees the option of using their overtime toward compensatory time, or paid time off, a benefit public sector workers already enjoy.
“Talk to just about any working mom and dad and they’ll tell you they need more time,” Rep. Roby said. “They need just one more hour in the day to be able to take care of responsibilities and make life work. We can’t legislate another hour in the day, but we can help working Americans better balance their time by removing unnecessary federal restrictions on comp time in the private sector.”
As the White House pushes an agenda of more regulations on the workplace, Rep. Roby said more federal mandates and restrictions are not the answer.
“We need to get Washington out of the way for how people use their time. Employers are drowning in enough red tape as it is, and workers have seen their hours reduced thanks to this Administration’s attempt to dictate how the workplace operates.
“The Working Families Flexibility Act is a realistic approach to offering employees more choices with their time at work and more balance with the demands of family life. ‘Comp time’ allows employers and employees to work together to see what fits, rather than having the federal government decide.”
The House passed Rep. Roby’s Working Families Flexibility Act in May 2013. Rep. Roby championed the proposal as a mother of two who understands the difficulty of balancing work and family life. A Senate companion bill was introduced by Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) but failed to receive consideration in the previously gridlocked Democratic Majority.
Rep. Roby and Sen. Lee are working to re-introduce the proposal as soon as next week.
The bill would allow private-sector workers to receive paid time off, or comp time, for overtime hours worked. A working mom or dad could use an hour of overtime he or she earned as paid “time and a half” off work instead of “time and a half” cash, if that’s what they would rather have.
Under the bill, no worker could be forced to take paid time off, just like no business owner would be forced to offer it. The bill retains all existing worker protections in current law, including the 40-hour work week and collective bargaining rules. The bill provides additional safeguards for workers to ensure the choice and use of comp time are truly voluntary.