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April 07, 2003
Comp-Time Bill Makes It through Another Round

Legislation on compensatory time off plans inched one step further in Congress.

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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 AP.


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