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Working Families Flexibility Act passes committee

Staff Report

U.S. Representative Martha Roby’s (R-Ala.) bill to provide greater choice and increased time flexibility in the workplace passed through committee Wednesday. This was a key legislative step toward full House passage.

H.R. 1180, the Working Families Flexibility Act, would give private sector employees the option to convert their accrued overtime into paid time off. This compensatory time, or “comp time,” would be completely voluntary for the employer and employee with strong worker protections to prohibit coercion. Comp time is already widely used by government employees.

Rep. Roby thanked the House Committee on Education and the Workforce for its swift action on her bill, and she said today’s working parents need more choice and flexibility with their time.

“As a working mom, I understand all too well the challenges that working parents face in juggling a career and managing a family,” Roby said. “Whether it’s coaching a child’s tee ball team or caring for an aging parent, family responsibilities often require time away from work. Congress can’t legislative another hour into the day, but we can give working parents more choices over how they use their time.

Roby’s bill would amend the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (FLSA), which regulates workforce practices. In 1985, Congress amended the FLSA to allow the use of comp time in government agencies, but the practice remains prohibited in the private sector. Rep. Roby said she introduced this bill because she believes all workers should have access to this flexibility benefit.

“The Working Families Flexibility Act would finally offer Americans working in the private sector what their peers in the public sector already enjoy: more freedom and more control over their time so they can spend it the way they choose.”

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