Griffin: Workplace Flexibility a Matter of Fairness

May 8, 2013 Issues: Economy and Jobs

WASHINGTON – Congressman Tim Griffin (AR-02) issued the following statement after House passage of the Working Families Flexibility Act (H.R. 1406):

“Due to a 75 year-old law – passed when the minimum wage was 25 cents per hour and a new home cost less than $4,000 – nearly a million Arkansans don’t have the same work flexibility that most government workers receive.  That’s just not fair, and that’s why I was proud to cosponsor and support the Working Families Flexibility Act, which modernizes America’s labor laws by giving workers the freedom to choose additional paid time off or overtime pay.  This is a common-sense proposal that will help folks spend more time with their families, attend more little league games, care for aging parents and volunteer in their communities.”

H.R. 1406 would amend the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 to provide private-sector employees with the same choice as many public-sector employees to receive paid time off in lieu of cash wages for overtime hours worked.  Workers who want to receive cash wages would continue to do so, and provisions are included in the bill to ensure that no employee may be forced by his or her employer to take comp time instead of receiving overtime pay under this legislation.

The legislation also retains all existing employee protections, including the 40-hour work week and how overtime compensation is accumulated.  H.R. 1406 goes even further by adding additional safeguards for workers to ensure the choice and use of paid leave is truly voluntary.

H.R. 1406 is supported by over 65 pro-worker organizations, including the Arkansas Society for Human Resource Management State Council, the Associated Builders and Contractors, the American Hospital Association, the National Federation of Independent Business and the National Retail Federation.