Private employers whose workers often stay overtime should take note of the Working Families Flexibility Act, proposed by House of Representatives Republicans this week.

The bill would allow private employers to compensate non-exempt workers with time off instead of overtime pay. For every hour an employee works over 40 hours a week, up to 160 hours a year, employers can offer 1 1/2 hours of compensatory time off. According to the bill, employees would have to take their accrued time off by the end of a 12-month period. Employers then have the option to pay any time in excess of 80 hours within 31 days, or terminate the agreement with 30 days’ notice, and just pay the overtime.

The Fair Labor Standards Act currently prohibits private employers from offering time off instead of overtime (though federal, state and local governments are allowed to do so), and this isn’t the first time Republicans have tried to amend it. Republican advocates of the bill say that it offers workers more flexibility, and Democrat opponents claim that it forces workers to choose between money and family, resulting in depressed wages.

Read more at Thomson Reuters.


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