Thursday, 11 May 2017 09:02

One Step Closer to Comp Time

Just last week, after passing the House, the Senate received the Working Families Flexibility Act of 2017.  This Act would change the Fair Labor Standards Act to allow private-sector employers the ability to offer employees the use of “Comp Time”. The public-sector (government workers) had the option of Comp Time for a long time now, which is the method of compensating employees for overtime worked through the use of additional paid time off from work instead of cash wages.

As I first heard about Comp Time coming to the private-sector I was a bit concerned, but after reading the bill and summary, I believe this will give employees more flexibility that they are demanding. My concerns initially came from how much control the employee would retain if they did not want to be compensated through Comp Time. This is addressed in the bill and puts the final decision in the employee’s hands. Four specific rules address these issues and protect the employee while giving employers more flexibility on compensating their employees. These rules are: 1) employees cannot be forced to accept Comp Time instead of cash wages; 2) there must be a written agreement between the employee and employer to use Comp Time; 3) does not change the current rule defining what is overtime and defines how Comp Time is to be accrued; and 4) allows employees to “cash out” their accrued Comp Time at any time. The current version (House version) of the bill looks like it would be a much-needed update to a law that has caused restrictions to employees and employers working flexibility.

The Education and Workforce Committee has a nice summary you can read here: http://edworkforce.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=401576.

Also, the full House bill can be viewed here: https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/1180/text