WASHINGTON, D.C. | April 11, 2013 -
Talk to just about any working mom and dad and they’ll tell you they need more time. They need one more hour in the day to be able to take care of responsibilities outside of work.
Have you ever faced a child’s disappointment when you couldn’t leave work to attend a tee ball game or school play? Have you ever wished for more time to devote to an aging parent in need of care or extra time with a newborn? Do you know what it’s like to be a military mom preparing for your husband to deploy and knowing your kids are going to need extra attention and support during those months?
We can’t legislate another hour in the day. But we can help working people better balance the demands of family and work by removing an unnecessary federal restriction on utilizing comp time in the private sector.
The Working Families Flexibility Act does not change the 40 hour work week or how overtime pay is calculated. Those standards remain the same. However, for some workers, having extra paid time off is actually more valuable than money. And, if that’s the case, why should Washington stand in the way? Federal law shouldn’t make it more difficult for working people to budget their time so they can see their child hit a home run or attend a parent-teacher conference.
This bill leaves it up to the employee to decide when to use his or her comp time, so long as reasonable notice is given and the requested time off would not unduly disrupt the business – the same standard used in the public-sector.
The legislation includes numerous employee protections to ensure the use of comp time is truly voluntary. For example, there must be a written agreement between the employer and the employee from which the employee can withdraw at any time. A worker can cash out their accrued comp time and instead receive their overtime wages within 30 days. Additionally, all existing enforcement remedies in the law are retained, and the bill adds a new remedy to ensure workers are not forced or coerced into choosing comp time.
Does this legislation solve every problem facing working families? No, it doesn’t. But it does offer to make life a little easier for working Americans by helping them better balance the demands of work and family. I encourage my colleagues to support the Working Families Flexibility Act of 2013.
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