“The vote to advance the badly misnamed Working Families Flexibility Act (H.R. 1180/S.801), or ‘comp time’ bill, in the U.S. House of Representatives today is, at best, a misguided and harmful attempt by lawmakers to take action on workplace issues. At worst, it is a shameful, smoke-and-mirrors effort to make it look like they are helping workers while only giving more power over people’s time and money to employers. The Senate should refuse to even consider such a despicable attempt to take advantage of working people and the real challenges they face today.
Every representative who voted for this proposal voted against workers. Despite its name, the Working Families Flexibility Act offers working people less flexibility, less pay and less time by setting up a false and dangerous choice between overtime pay now and time off in the future for people who work more than 40 hours in a week. In reality, employers would gain the right to keep people’s hard-earned overtime wages for months at a time without providing time off on the days people need or have carefully planned for – even in the case of a family or medical emergency.
As a nation, we have come a long way in acknowledging the kind of policy supports people need in the workplace, such as paid sick days, paid family and medical leave, fair pay and schedules, and protections for pregnant workers. The Working Families Flexibility Act would do much more harm than good. We cannot be fooled by empty promises. Something is not better than nothing. The Senate should reject this proposal and then join with all members of Congress to advance the tested, truly family friendly measures the country’s working people and families urgently need.”
NOTE: On April 5, National Partnership Vice President Vicki Shabo testified before the U.S. House Committee on Education and the Workforce’s Subcommittee on Workforce Protections in opposition to H.R. 1180. Her written testimony and additional resources on the proposal are available here. The Hill published her op-ed on the bill earlier today.