House Republicans Vote to Allow Private Employers to Replace Overtime Pay with Time Off
Claiming American workers should have choices when it comes to compensation for overtime, Republicans in the U.S. House pushed through the Working Families Flexibility Act, which Democrats say is more of a gift to employers than to employees.
The bill would amend federal labor law that mandates the payment of time-and-a-half for those working more than 40 hours in a week. Instead of only offering money for overtime, employers could allow compensatory time off.
Opponents of the measure say there is nothing in it to prevent companies from discriminating against those who prefer payment by cutting back on their overtime hours.
Eileen Appelbaum, senior economist for the Center for Economic and Policy Research, wrote that the legislation could “hamstring workers—likely increasing overtime hours for those who don’t want them and cutting pay for those who do.”
The bill passed the House on a vote of 223 to 204, mostly along party lines, with 8 Republicans voting against it and 3 Democrats voting for it. It now goes to the U.S. Senate, where majority Democrats will probably try to scuttle it.
To Learn More:
The Family Unfriendly Act (by Teresa Tritch, New York Times)
U.S. House Republican Majority Votes to Axe 40-Hour Work Week (Tennessee Democratic Party)
Comp Time Or Cold Cash. Which Would You Pick? (by Marilyn Geewax, KRCB)
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