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Posted By: SHRM                                           
Federal Legislative Alert

We need your help! Please e-mail your U.S. Representative and ask him or her to VOTE YES on the comp time bill, H.R. 1180.

In February, Representative Martha Roby (R-Ala.), introduced the Working Families Flexibility Act of 2017 (H.R. 1180) also known as the “comp time” bill. The proposal will remove a federal restriction on the private-sector and help Americans better address family and work needs. H.R. 1180 would permit – but would NOT require – private-sector employers to offer employees the choice of taking overtime in cash payments as they do currently or in the form of paid time off – or comp time.

The House Subcommittee on Workforce Protections held a legislative hearing on H.R. 1180 on April 5th.  SHRM members Leslie Christ, Chief Resource Officer for WellStone Behavioral Health, and Crystal Frey, Vice President of Human Resources for Continental Realty Corporation, testified at the hearing in support of the bill. H.R. 1180 is expected to go before the full House of Representatives for a vote the week of May 1st.

SHRM supports H.R. 1180 and we need your help! Please e-mail your U.S. Representative and ask him or her to vote “YES” for H.R. 1180 when the proposal goes to the House floor. Read SHRM’s position paper on the comp bill.

PLEASE TAKE THIS ACTION
E-mail your Representative’s Washington, DC office using SHRM’s Policy Action Center by following these fast and easy steps:

  1. Visit SHRM’s Policy Action Center
  2. Fill out your contact information (be sure to enter your home mailing address since the system will correctly match you to your federal congressional district).
  3. Personalize the template email language to include your message with your own story.
  4. Click “submit.”

It is critical that Representatives hear from employers in their congressional districts over the next five days leading into the week of May 1st. That’s why we are asking you – HR professionals, to e-mail your House members and express support for the comp time legislation.

BACKGROUND
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) of 1938 requires that hours of work by non-exempt employees beyond 40 hours in a seven-day period must be compensated at a rate of 1 1/2 times the employee’s regular rate of pay.  In 1978, Congress passed the Federal Employees Flexible and Compressed Work Schedules Act, which changed the FLSA to allow compensatory time for federal employees.  In 1985, comp time was extended to include state and local agencies and their employees. H.R. 1180 would simply extend this important benefit to the private sector. 

The Working Families Flexibility Act would amend the FLSA to allow private-sector employers to provide compensatory time to employees. Employees would have the choice of taking overtime in cash payments, as they do today, or in the form of paid time off from work. Just as with overtime payments, paid time off would accrue at a rate of 1 1/2 hours for each hour of overtime worked.  Employees would be able to accrue up to 160 hours of comp time per year, although an employer could choose to “cash out” the comp time after 80 hours after providing the employee with 30 days of notice.  An employer would also be required to cash out any unused comp time at year’s end at the regular time and a half rate.

For questions regarding compensatory time and Rep. Roby’s comp time bill, contact Patrick Brady, SHRM’s Senior Government Affairs Advisor, at Patrick.Brady@shrm.org or 703-535-6246.

If you encounter any issues contacting your member of Congress, please contact Meredith Nethercutt, SHRM’s Senior Associate, Member Advocacy and A-Team Program Director, at Meredith.Nethercutt@shrm.org or (703) 535-6417.