April 07, 2017
This week, the House Workforce Protections Subcommittee held a hearing on the Working Families Flexibility Act (H.R. 1180) which would amend the Fair Labor Standards Act to allow private sector employers to offer compensatory time off instead of overtime wages for all hours worked in excess of 40 per week, subject to certain restrictions that do not apply to the public sector. The bill was reintroduced by Rep. Martha Roby (R-AL), and co-sponsored by Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-AL), the Workforce Protections Subcommittee Chairman. H.R. 1180 enables employers to voluntarily create a comp time program at their discretion and for workers to voluntarily enter into an agreement with their employer to earn up to 160 hours of compensatory time that can be used generally at the discretion of the worker. According to Rep. Byrne: "The bill includes strong protections to ensure the use of comp time is completely voluntary. Workers can switch back to receiving cash wages whenever they choose, and they are allowed to cash out their comp time for any reason at any time." However, ranking member Rep. Mark Takano (D-CA) said the bill is "just another sly way to give employers more leverage over our most vulnerable workers." Although similar comp time legislation has not made it past committees in previous years, there is a chance the bill could get stronger support in the GOP-controlled Congress this year.