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Washington Labor & Employment Wire » Working Families Flexibility Act (H.R. 1274)

Working Families Flexibility Act (H.R. 1274)

Core Provisions: This legislation would give employees a statutory right to request flexible work terms and conditions. Modeled after similar laws in Europe, the legislation provides for an interactive process by which an employee can request changes to his or her schedule, location of work, or the number of hours worked. Employers would be required to meet with the employee and a designated representative of his or her choosing to discuss the request, give a written decision to the employee, and must justify any denial in writing. If the employee is dissatisfied with the employer’s explanation, he or she may request reconsideration of the decision, in which case the employer would have to go through the interactive process again. The legislation also contains an anti-retaliation provision.  

The bill, which contains an exemption for small businesses with less than 15 employees, gives employees the right to make a complaint to the Department of Labor and provides for enforcement through Department of Labor investigations, administrative hearings, and federal court proceedings.

Status: H.R. 1274 was introduced by Reps. Maloney (D-NY), Miller (D-CA), Lewis (D-GA), and Cummings (D-MD) on March 3, 2009 and referred to the Committees on Education and Labor, Oversight and Government Reform, Administration, and the Judiciary. Identical legislation was introduced in the 110th Congress (H.R. 4301, S. 2419), with the Senate bill being co-sponsored by Sen. Kennedy and then-Sens. Obama and Clinton. Neither bill made it out of committee.