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September 10, 2004
Bush Pushes for Comp Time

President Bush is continuing his call for Congress to pass legislation that would allow employers to offer compensatory time in lieu of overtime pay.

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Last week, President Bush used his acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention to urge Congress to pass legislation allowing compensatory time, which he says would give families more flexibility.

This week, the Bush administration released a report on the current state and future of the American workforce, called America's Dynamic Workforce. In the report, the Labor Department says changes allowing comepensatory time are needed because labor laws were written at a time when fewer parents worked.

Under current rules, only public-sector employers can offer employees compensatory time. Compensatory time allows employees to take paid time off at 1.5 times the number of overtime hours worked instead of being paid the overtime premium. Bush says his plan would include worker protections, such as a mandate that compensatory-time arrangements be voluntary.

Critics contend that if compensatory time is allowed in the private sector, employers would pressure workers to accept comp time instead of overtime pay. They also say employers would be able to delay employees' use of accrued comp time.

Bush began talking about the comp-time issue in stump speeches leading up to the convention.

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