GOP proposes swapping overtime for vacation
House Republicans say the move would give state and federal employees more flexibility. Opponents say it's just another way to cut paychecks.
The GOP is pushing legislation that the Associated Press says would allow employees who work more than 40 hours a week the option of taking paid time off instead of overtime pay. It seems fairly straightforward on paper, and such a policy has existed in the private sector for years. But it's also a means of cutting into workers' compensation and lining state and federal coffers, according to the bill's opponents.
The new legislation takes dead aim at the at the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, which requires covered employees to receive time-and-a-half pay for every hour over 40 within a work week. The proposal would reduce that take to straight-time comp days.
The bill would allow workers to bank up to 160 hours, or four weeks, of comp time per year that could be used to take time off for any reason. It would let an employee decide to cash out comp time, and it forbids employers from coercing workers to take comp time instead of cash.
Still, Democrats say the bill doesn't guarantee that workers would be able to take the time off when they want. It also gives employers the final say on comp-time requests, which could make that time difficult to cash in. Also, the bill's opponents argue that allowing workers to bank their leave time essentially gives employers an interest-free loan from employees.
Also, opponents are aware that Republicans and members of the business community have been trying this route around the Fair Labor Standards Act since the 1990s and have been shot down at every turn. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., has reintroduced the measure as part of a bid to woo working families, but worker advocates say those same families should be wary of the bill's budget-sheet origins.
Judith Lichtman, a senior adviser for the National Partnership for Women and Families, told the AP that the program was created in the public sector in 1985 as a cost-cutting measure that has since been framed as an option to provide workers greater flexibility. As she notes, many workers in federal and state government are unionized or have civil-service protections that give them more leverage in dealing with supervisors.
The banked-time plan took hold in the private sector largely because similar worker protections don't exist there.
Did you see the article where North Korean workers were being paid overtime in Choco Pies? That will be the GOP's next tactic! Especially when demand outstrips supply and the Choco Pie Panic hits the USA!
So GOP what happened to smaller government and hands off telling the private sector what they can/can't do? If a company wants to institute comp time instead of overtime there is a legal way to do that now. Better still just call them salary then you don't owe them either right?
Bad enough to try to legislate morality but to try and legislate deceit is another thing enitirely. Disgusting.
If House Republicans were willing to subject themselves to the plan, and to work more than 20 hours a week (at most!) maybe we could consider the possibility that this wasn't just another scheme to balance the budget on the backs of Democratic constituencies to finance the advantages of the .001%.
You people wanted non-union labor and jobs...
And then you started letting States, pass right to work laws....
Now you have it, good for you.
Now just watch how long it takes you to get minium wage up to $8 or 9 bucks an hour...
And make sure and go to the Polls and elect your favorite Repubian...They will help you.
Yup the "New World Order" of wage controls and Equal Opportunity for All..
Safety Standards will be next...
This just smells. How about amending the Fair Labor Standards Act to make it so any work or time off compensation for work over 40 hours is equated in double time. This could possible create more jobs because the cost for overtime would be more than hiring. It is an idea anyway.
Side note: with Obamacare we may see lower skilled workers working 2 jobs at 20 to 30 hours each so companies can avoid health care costs. We also may see companies splitting up into smaller independent segments to avoid the 50 employee cutoff. Who knows for sure.
On the other hand, some companies who have less than good employee relationships may find it hard to hold good workers if the only reason a worker is staying put is insurance benefits.
2014 will be interesting in the labor market.
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