Overtime Bill Passes House

Overtime Bill Passes House

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill Tuesday that would allow private employers to offer workers compensatory time off in lieu of overtime pay. It now goes to the Senate. Some people argue the bill gives employers the final say on when comp time can be used. "Unfortunately, today's labor laws make it harder to offer this flexibility". So, an employee who works 60 hours of overtime in the first quarter of the year has no guarantee that she will be able to take her comp time a few months later, to help her mother recover from surgery, care for the baby she is expecting, or help settle her son into a new school.

If they change their minds and want the pay after all, employees would have the option of 'cashing out, ' with the employer required to pay the overtime within 30 days. Workers have to agree to accept paid time off instead of overtime wages, and would receive an hour-and-a-half of comp time for each hour of overtime worked. Employers who coerce employees into choosing comp time would be liable to the employees for double damages. Those opting for monetary compensation for overtime would have to put the request in writing, and employers would have to provide payment within 30 days of receiving the request. Under the bill, employers could withhold overtime pay for a long time, which otherwise would be a violation of the FLSA, and it undermines the 40 hours workweek mechanism, he said.

"This bill will allow small businesses to give hourly employees another option that public sector employees have enjoyed for many years", said House Small Business Committee Chairman Steve Chabot of Cincinnati.

Roby introduced the bill to the House of Representatives, and it passed there.


Demonstrator Sherae Speight, of Boston, center, holds a placard and chants during a protest at a McDonalds fast foot restaurant, Tuesday, March 18, 2014, in Boston, held to call attention to the denial of overtime pay and other violations protesters say deprive workers of the money they're owed.

Congressional Republicans have pitched similar measures a number of times over the past two decades but have been unable to get the rule on the books.

"We expect there to be some changes, but we expect the principles and the main pillars of the healthcare bill as it exists now to remain the same", White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters. It's possible that the Senate could pass the bill, Fortney added, but if the Senate votes in a similar manner, the measure could face a filibuster there.

President Donald Trump's administration backs the bill, and his advisers would recommend that he sign it, a White House press statement said.

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