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Roby introduces bill to remove restrictions on private sector ‘comp time’ agreements

Rep. Martha Roby today introduced legislation that will remove an unnecessary federal restriction on the private sector and help Americans better balance family and work.

The Working Families Flexibility Act of 2013 (H.R. 1406) would allow private-sector workers to receive paid time off or “comp time” for overtime hours worked. For nearly thirty years, public-sector workers have been able to receive comp time for working overtime hours. However, the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 prevents private-sector workers from enjoying the same benefit.

“Right now the law prohibits private businesses from offering comp time options for their employees, even though it is legal in the public sector,” Rep. Roby said. “Washington shouldn’t stand in the way of an employer and an employee coming to a “comp time” agreement that each is happy with.”

The Working Families Flexibility Act of 2013:

· Allows employers to offer employees a choice between cash wages and comp time for overtime hours worked. Employees who want to receive cash wages would continue to do so.

· Protects employees by requiring the employer and the employee to complete a written agreement to use comp time, entered into knowingly and voluntarily by the employee.

· Retains all existing employee protections in current law, including the 40 hour work week and how overtime compensation is accrued. The bill adds additional safeguards for workers to ensure the choice and use of comp time are truly voluntary.

· Allows employees to accrue up to 160 hours of comp time each year. An employer would be required to pay cash wages for any unused time at the end of the year. Workers are free to ‘cash out’ their accrued comp time whenever they choose to do so.

Majority Leader Eric Cantor expressed support for Roby’s bill and said that working moms and dads should have more options.

“Today, Representative Martha Roby took an important step to help working parents who are juggling responsibilities at home and on the job,” Leader Cantor said. “Through a voluntary arrangement with their employers, working parents will have more quality time to spend with their families.

Cantor said the House will consider the Working Families Flexibility Act in the coming weeks.

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