Sen. McConnell introduces ‘Working Family Flexibility Act’

Bill allows employees who work overtime to choose between monetary compensation or comp-time

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Jan. 22, 2015) — Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell and Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) today introduced a Senate bill allowing employees who work overtime to choose between monetary compensation or comp-time.

Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.
Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.

The “Working Family Flexibility Act” would free workers to choose the best way to alleviate the difficulties of juggling work, home, kids, and community.  Rep. Martha Roby of Alabama introduced a companion bill in the House.

“The Working Families Flexibility Act will help provide America’s workers with the flexible work arrangements they’ve told us they need,” McConnell said. “Countless Americans have become increasingly familiar with the same challenging reality: more and more to do, with less and less time to do it. “

The bill:

  • Gives private-sector employers the ability to offer their employees the option of comp time or overtime pay, both accrued at 11Ž2 times the overtime hours worked. Federal, State & local governments are currently allowed to offer comp time to their employees, but private-sector employers are banned from doing so by federal law.
  • Requires employers who decide to offer this option to their employees to establish a written agreement with the employee outlining the options and to allow each employee to voluntarily choose the option that best fits his needs.
  • Requires that comp time agreements be included in the collective bargaining agreement negotiated between the union and the employer for any employee represented by a union.
  • Allows employees who choose to accrue comp time to accrue up to 160 hours each year.
  • Allows employees to “cash out” their accrued comp time at the traditional overtime pay rate at any time throughout the year.
  • Maintains all existing employee protections, including the current 40-hour workweek and overtime accrual, and provides additional safeguards to ensure that the choice to use comp time is voluntary.
  • Requires employers to pay employees at the traditional overtime rate for any unused comp time at the end of each calendar year.
  • Ends the unfair discrimination against private-sector employees
  • Enables parents to better balance work and family obligations
  • Frees all workers to choose which commodity – time or money – is the more important resource at a given time
  • Lessens the burden of unnecessary federal regulation