According to the United States Congress, the Working Families Flexibility Act of 2017 seeks to amend the Fair Labor Standards Act to allow employers in the private sector to participate in a voluntary arrangement with employees with regards to compensating them for time they take off work, as opposed to overtime pay. The initial law sought to discourage overtime work through making it expensive for employers, while also increasing employment opportunities for overtime, thereby reducing the unemployment rate.
However, the United States Congress Working Families Flexibility Act of 2017 seeks to alter this law by enabling employers to have flexibility in how they pay for overwork (Horowitz). It makes overtime cheaper for employers while providing them with opportunities to coerce employees to take time off work and receive compensation.
The bill was received in Senate on 05/03/2017 under the House-Education and the Workforce Committee (United States Congress). It was sponsored by Representative Roby Martha and currently, there are two roll call votes. It was introduced on 02/16/2017 and was passed by the House on 05/02/2017 with a vote of 229 against 197. Its co-sponsors and supporters include Representatives Roe David, Byrne Bradley, Gutherie Brett, Cornstock Barbara, Sessions Pete, Weber Randy, Wilson Joie and many others. However, congressional Democrats and some liberal advocacy groups such as the National Partnership for Women & Families are opposed to the bill (Miller).
My personal view is that the bill creates an avenue where employers could blackmail or coerce employees to perform overtime hours while limiting their access to time-off work. The original law sought to prevent exploitation of employees through making overtime expensive to employers. However, the amendment would weaken this law and provide a loophole for employers to overwork employees and exploit them. If I was a senator or a Congressman, I would not have supported the bill.
Horowitz Julia. “The House just passed a bill that affects overtime pay”. CNN. Retrieved
from http://money.cnn.com/2017/05/02/news/economy/overtime-pay-bill-passes-house/index.html, 2017.
Miller Stephen. Comp Time Bill Faces Senate Fight. Retrieved from
United States Congress. H.R.1180 – Working Families Flexibility Act of 2017. Retrieved from
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