Congressman Kevin Cramer

Representing North Dakota, At Large

CRAMER: House Passes Working Families Flexibility Act

May 2, 2017
Press Release

Congressman Kevin Cramer supported legislation passed by the U.S. House of Representatives today allowing private-sector employers the ability to provide more flexibility for their employees by offering the choice of paid time off in lieu of cash wages for overtime hours worked. State and local government employees have long been able to choose paid time off as compensation for working overtime hours. However, the federal government prohibits private-sector workers from enjoying this same benefit.

H.R. 1180, introduced by Representative Martha Roby (R-AL), gives employees the choice of paid time off instead of cash wages for overtime hours worked. “In the 21st Century workplace, employees are increasingly valuing flexibility in their jobs in order to balance work with family and personal needs. This legislation is a pro-worker proposal which increases choice and gives employees the freedom and flexibility to decide how they want to be compensated for overtime hours worked.”

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.