By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Alabama Congresswoman Martha Roby (R) from Montgomery has sponsored legislation, H.R. 1406, the Working Families Flexibility Act of 2013, that would allow individual employees the ability to negotiate flexible scheduling with their private employers. Many governments offer such plans, but private employers are barred from such plans because of federal overtime statutes which punish employers who allow workers to work more than forty hours in a week with mandatory time and a half pay. Alabama Congressman Robert Aderholt (R) from Haleyville expressed his support for Rep. Roby’s landmark legislation.
Rep. Aderholt said, “As a parent, I understand first-hand the difficulty Alabama families face in balancing work and family life. I know busy moms and dads across the 4th District that find themselves having to make tough decisions between these two responsibilities.”
Representative Aderholt continued, “That’s why my Alabama colleague and mother of two small children, Martha Roby, introduced H.R. 1406, the Working Families Flexibility Act of 2013. I am proud to cosponsor this legislation that would allow private-sector employers the ability to offer their employees the choice of paid time off in lieu of cash wages for overtime hours.”
Representative Roby said in a written statement, “I have been overwhelmed by the support from my colleagues for my bill, H.R. 1406, the Working Families Flexibility Act, which would end an outdated, needless federal regulation. More than 165 House Members – including all 21 committee chairmen – have agreed to co-sponsor the Working Families Flexibility Act. Majority Leader Eric Cantor announced on Wednesday that my bill is ready for a vote of the House as soon as the first week in May.
Congressman Aderholt concluded, “There is no reason why Washington should get in the way of an agreement with which both workers and employers are happy. I am looking forward to the bill’s final passage so busy working moms and dads can be at more family dinners, more dance recitals and more ball games.”
Congresswoman Roby said, “Talk to just about any working mom and dad and they’ll tell you they need more time. They need one more hour in the day to be able to take care of responsibilities outside of work. We can’t legislate another hour in the day. But we can help working people better balance the demands of family and work by removing an unnecessary federal restriction on utilizing comp time in the private sector. That’s what the Working Families Flexibility Act is all about. It offers working moms and dads more options for balancing the demands of family and work.”
Congresswoman Roby’s The Working Families Flexibility Act: Allows employers to offer employees a choice between cash wages and comp time for overtime hours worked. Employees who choose to receive cash wages would be able to continue to do so. The employer and the employee would have to complete a written agreement to use comp time. The agreement would be entered into knowingly and voluntarily by the employee. This protects all existing employee protections in current law, including the 40 hour work week and how overtime compensation is accrued. Employers would be required to pay cash wages for any unused time at the end of the year. Workers could ‘cash out’ their accrued comp time whenever they choose to do so.