Legislation on compensatory time off plans inched one step further
Last week, a House panel approved legislation, in a 8-6 vote, that would allow
employers to offer paid time off as compensation for overtime hours worked in lieu of overtime pay, the Associated Press reports.
The measure is scheduled to go before a full committee next week. If proponents
have their way, a floor vote on the legislation could come as early as May,
according to the AP.
Through a voluntary aggreement with their employers, employees would be able to choose overtime pay or paid time off. If passed,
the legislation would amend the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
Republicans in Congress say the measure would offer flexibility to both employer
and employee, the AP reports. Proponents say the legislation also has protections
for employees, including the option to cancel compensatory-time agreements at
any time. The bill limits the number of hours an employee can bank to 160.
The news agency notes the Labor Department recently announced a proposal that
would overhaul FLSA. The proposed regulations would raise the salary threshold-below
which workers would automatically qualify for overtime-from $155 a week to $425
a week. The DOL estimates it would increase the wages of 1.3 million lower-income
workers and reduce the number of low-wage salaried workers currently being denied
overtime pay. The Bush administration contends the proposal would modernize
and simplify the law.
Citing the increasing frequency of overtime lawsuits, business groups have
been urging the Bush administration to amend overtime rules, according to the