Working Families Flexibility Act
Posted: June 21, 2013
It's ironic that President Obama swayed a good portion of the female vote in his 2012 re-election campaign and is now turning his back on the constituents who helped him win a second term in the White House.
The Working Families Flexibility Act, which would amend the Fair Labor Standards Act, would allow private sector employees to be offered compensatory paid time off for hourly employees that work more than 40 hours per week in lieu of cash wages at 1 1/2 times their regular rate of pay, the measure will likely be vetoed by President Obama.
While the Society for Human Resource Management and many in Congress support the bill, it is currently opposed by both unions and a majority of congressional Democrats. So, even though the House of Representatives passed the measure, it will face a tougher challenge in the Democratic-controlled Senate.
Supporters of the bill argue that employers in the private sector are free to offer comp time instead of cash payment for overtime, and the rules in the private sector should not be different. One of the bill's sponsors, Rep. Martha Roby (Rep.-Alabama) said the measure is about "helping working moms and dads, providing the ability to commit time at home".
Democrats have raised concerns, along with unions, that while the bill prohibits employers from coercing workers into taking comp time instead of overtime, it lacks a specific definition of coercion. Labor unions say the law could be used to deny employees overtime, and therefore, overtime pay, allowing them to only earn comp time.
It is a shame that the largest block of voters for President Obama are being denied the opportunity to take advantage of the flexibility offered in the Working Families Act to be able to tend to family matters and still be afforded the opportunity to forego overtime pay.
RANDOM THOUGHT: Despite the rainy weather that we've received the past two weeks, the workers on the South Barstow Street renovation project are moving right along. Fortunately, many of the business owners I've spoken to have not experienced the lack of business that many feared. And, even though all of the downtown merchants are suffering a bit now, the final product looks like it will be a marked improvement. Please take time to patronize the downtown businesses.