By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Congresswoman Martha Roby (R) from Montgomery has written legislation that would change decades old private sector workplace rules regarding over time and how we work. Roby’s Working Families Flexibility Act would allow workers to voluntarily negotiate flexible work place schedules with their employers that currently are forbidden under the Fair Standards Labor Act of 1938. Representative Roby is reporting that the whole U.S. House of Representatives could be voting on her bill, H.R. 1406. as early as Wednesday.
Representative Martha Roby said on Facebook, “Chairman Pete Sessions and the House Rules Committee just advanced my bill, the Working Families Flexibility Act, to the House floor for debate tomorrow and a final vote on Wednesday. The bill would give working moms and dads the time flexibility they need in the modern workplace. I encourage each of you to watch the clip below to see how the bill would help Karen DeLoach, a bookkeeper from Montgomery. Karen is just one of many hardworking Americans who deserve the opportunity to choose for themselves what works best for them. It’s time to get Washington out of the way of how you use your time.”
Rep. Roby told the Associated Press Monday, “For some people, time is more valuable than the cash that would be accrued in overtime.” Most public sector employees have had this benefit for decades. Rep. Roby said, “Why should public-sector employees be given a benefit and the private sector be left out?”
Speaker of the House John Boehner (R) from Ohio said, “This week, we’ll pass Martha Roby’s bill to help working moms and dads better balance their lives between work and their responsibilities as parents. Let me congratulate Martha for a great job in moving this bill. I have been involved in this issue for over 20 years. We have tried to move a bill through the House a number of times over that period of time, and it seems remarkable to me that such a commonsense piece of legislation gets bogged down because of special interests on the other side.”
House Majority Leader Mickey Eric (R) from Virginia said, “If you are a working parent then you know that there is one thing all of us have in common, and that is the need for more time. Martha Roby is here with us today, and she is a working mom from Montgomery, Alabama, who knows firsthand the challenges involved in being a working parent,” Leader Cantor stated that The Working Families Flexibility Act “puts parents over politics. There is no reason in the world for anyone to object to this bill. It is something that makes sense and helps working moms and dads.”
Rep. Roby said, “I am proud to sponsor the Working Families Flexibility Act on behalf of working moms and dads throughout this country who find it difficult to balance the demands of family and work. Our message to the American people is this: we want to get Washington out of the way of how you use your time.”
On Tuesday, House Republicans held a roundtable discussion with working parents at on the tenth floor at The CENTECH Group in Falls Church, VA. The roundtable event was followed by a press conference. Participants in the CENTECH event included: Representative Martha Roby, Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R) from Virginia, House GOP Conference Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R) from Washington, House Committee on Education and the Workforce Chairman John Kline (R)f from Minnesota, Representative Renee Ellmers (R) from North Carolina, CENTECH President & CEO Fernando Galaviz, Society of Human Resources Management Vice President of Government Affairs Mike Aitken, as well as working parents.
Alabama Congressman Robert Aderholt (R) from Haleyville has endorsed Rep. Roby’s landmark legislation: “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.”
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.