Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Depression-era statute that serves as the bedrock of U.S. labor law, hourly workers must be paid time-and-a-half for every hour they work over 40 in a week — both to reward workers for their extra hours and to discourage employers from pushing workers too hard. The Republican measure would instead give employers and their workers the choice to use earned “comp” time instead of pay, an opportunity already afforded many public-sector employees.
According to Democrats, such an option would be ripe for abuse by employers, and in practice it might not be an option at all for some workers.
By lowering the cost of overtime for employers, labor advocates worry the measure would dilute the primary governor on the 40-hour week and pressure workers into taking comp time rather than pay, even if their choice is ostensibly protected by law. The bill would give workers the option to “cash out” their accrued comp time at a later date if they choose, but Democrats noted that such a situation would amount to an interest-free loan for employers. Labor unions and worker advocacy groups strongly opposed it.
In a sign of the union opposition to the bill, Chris Townsend, political director for the United Electrical, Radio & Machine Workers of America union, told HuffPost that such a measure could “liquidate the whole concept of paid leave.” Rather than giving workers the standard two weeks of vacation or a handful of sick days, Townsend argued, employers could invite workers to “earn” their time off by working overtime.
If you want to give workers the ability to commit time at home, advocate for mandatory paid sick leave and paid time off.
All this does is erode the 40-hour work week, which really does help families achieve balance, and cut costs for employers who work their employees in excess of 40 hours a week. Time-and-a-half is better than comp time because 1) an employer can arbitrarily decide when a worker can and can’t take their comp time, meaning it might not be flexible for employees at all, and 2) workers aren’t paid the extra dollar amount for working in excess of a standard work week. It will be a 1:1 payout situation instead of a 1.5:1 payout, and the point of making overtime more expensive is that working in excess of 40 hours a week is difficult for families and makes work-life balance almost impossible to achieve.
You might as well call this bill “Work Harder for Less Act.”
This is bullshit..