Reading up on HR 1406, called the Working Families Flexibility Act.
The bill gives the employees of taking comp time instead of overtime
pay for overtime hours worked, at the rate of 1.5 comp hours per hour
worked. Those hours go into a pool (that cannot exceed 160 hrs), from
which the employee can draw with advance notice with employer
agreement--an employer can refuse if taking that paid leave would unduly
disrupt business operation (uncertain how this degree of freedom
compares to existing comp time policies). Unused hours must be paid
back at the end of the year. Companies are forbidden from coercing
employees to choose one overtime option or the other (enforcement of
this could be difficult if influence is exercised indirectly).
Supporters of the bill argue that it gives working families more
flexibility, similar to what is available to government employees (I was
unable to find policies on government employee overtime for
comparison). They argue that additional paid leave can often
be more valuable to an employee than the overtime pay would be, and
that the employee is not unduly restricted from taking that time.
Opponents of the bill worry about how it will be used, calling it an
attack on the 40-hour work week. They say that corporations would
choose to give overtime hours to employees that chose comp time so as to
avoid immediate expenses (comp time amounts to an interest-free loan of
one's overtime pay to the company), to the detriment of employees that
chose overtime pay because they need it. They wonder if employee comp
time can really be used at employee discretion in practice. And they
argue that companies would pressure employees to work overtime for comp
time in lieu of hiring more workers in times when more hours need to be
Versions of this bill have been presented several times
in the past, without success. This time the bill has passed the House
and is expected to fail in the Senate. These points raise the question
of whether it's just a political football being tossed back and forth
for talking points before being inevitably kicked down the road.
First, is this an objective assessment, and is it missing anything?
Second, do you think the bill is good for workers, companies, and/or the