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Washington Labor & Employment Wire » Family-Friendly Workplace Act (H.R. 933)

Family-Friendly Workplace Act (H.R. 933)

Core Provisions: This legislation would amend the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) to permit employers to offer employees the choice of receiving paid time off in lieu of overtime wages. The legislation would permit employers to offer paid time off at a rate of one and a half hours of paid leave for each hour of employment for which overtime pay would ordinarily be required. Employees would have to consent in writing to swap paid time off for overtime, and would be able to withdraw their request for the arrangement at any time.

An employer would also have to pay out any accrued time within 30 days upon receipt of an employee’s written request. No employee could accrue more than 160 hours of compensatory time under the bill, and employers could provide monetary compensation for an employee’s unused accrued time in excess of 80 hours at any time after giving 30 days notice.

The legislation would require employers to set a twelve-month schedule and pay out any unused accrued time once a year. Employees agreeing to receive compensatory time off would have to have worked for the employer at least 1,000 hours in the preceding twelve months. An employer could only offer paid time off instead of overtime to unionized employees in accordance with a collective bargaining agreement.  Employers offering paid time off for overtime could discontinue the option at any time with 30 days notice to the employees, unless a collective bargaining agreement provided otherwise.

Employers would be required to accommodate reasonable requests by employees to use accrued compensatory time under the arrangement. The bill also prohibits employers from intimidating, threatening, or otherwise interfering with employees’ right to choose to receive either paid time off or overtime wages.  

Status: H.R. 933 was introduced by Rep. McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) on February 10, 2009 and referred to the House Committee on Education and Labor. Rep. McMorris introduced identical legislation in the 110th Congress on May 13, 2008. That bill was referred to the House Committee on Education and Labor and was not acted upon thereafter.