By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Tuesday, May 2, 2017, US Representative Martha Roby’s (R-Montgomery) bill to offer working Americans more choice and flexibility with time in the workplace passed the US House of Representatives.
HR1180 the Working Families Flexibility Act, would give workers in the private sector the option to convert their accrued overtime into paid time off. This compensatory time, or “comp time,” would be completely voluntary for both the employer and the employee. Public sector employees have had this option since 1985.
Rep. Roby said, “The workforce has changed tremendously over the years, but the laws and policies that govern the workplace have not. Today’s working parents need more time flexibility to balance the demands of work and family.”
Congresswoman Roby said. “I’ve always said Congress cannot legislate another hour into the day, but we can update our laws to allow more choice and fairness in how working Americans use their time. I appreciate my colleagues in the House for approving the Working Families Flexibility Act and getting us one step closer to enacting this commonsense Legislation.”
US Representative Bradly Byrne (R-Montrose) is the Chairman of the House Workforce Protections Subcommittee. Chairman Byrne supports the bill and delivered a speech on the House floor in support of the Legislation.
Rep. Byrne said, “By passing the Working Families Flexibility Act, we have taken an important step toward bringing our workforce laws into the 21st Century. Working families today face a wide range of challenges and demands, and they deserve the same freedoms and choices that workers in the public sector already have. I thank Representatives Roby for introducing this commonsense piece of legislation, and I applaud my colleagues for lending their support to this pro-worker bill.”
The Trump Administration released a statement, prior to the vote, supporting the bill.
Congresswoman Roby said, “I’m pleased that the Trump Administration is supporting this commonsense bill to offer greater flexibility to working moms and dads,” Roby said. “After multiple veto threats from the Obama Administration, I appreciate the White House working with us to advance this bill.”
The Executive Office of the President said that if HR1180 were presented to the President in its current form: “HR1180 would help American workers balance the competing demands of family and work by giving them flexibility to earn paid off-time they can later use for any reason, including family commitments like attending school appointments and caring for a sick child.”
The bill passed the House by a vote of 229 to 97. It now goes to the US Senate, where Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) will carry the bill.
Opponents worry that the bill would allow employers to get around the federal overtime laws that were passed in the 1930s.
Congresswoman Martha Roby represents Alabama’s Second Congressional District. She has been championing the Working Families Flexibility Act for years.