SHRM needs your help signing on to a SHRM letter urging Congress to support H.R. 4219, the Workflex in the 21st Century Act.

By: Detroit SHRM

Greetings Detroit SHRM Members!

SHRM needs your help signing on to a SHRM letter urging Congress to support H.R. 4219, the Workflex in the 21st Century Act.  Please see the details in the email below.

We need your help! Please sign on to a SHRM letter urging Congress to support H.R. 4219, the Workflex in the 21st Century Act.  SHRM worked hand-in-hand with Representative Mimi Walters (R-CA) and our members to develop this legislation. Our goal is to represent every single SHRM State Council and as many SHRM Chapters as possible on this letter to illustrate the breadth and depth of this issue to HR professionals, employers and employees across the United States.

Read draft SHRM letter.

Click HERE to sign-on to the SHRM letter.

Your response is needed by 5:00 pm ET, Wednesday, July 18.

Legislative Background:

Representative Mimi Walters (R-CA) introduced H.R. 4219, the Workflex in the 21st Century Act, to expand paid leave and workplace flexibility opportunities for all employees. The bill amends the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) to create a voluntary Qualified Flexible Work Arrangement plan (QFWA), allowing participating employers to follow a federal framework for paid leave and Workflex, as opposed to the complex, conflicting patchwork of state and local laws. The QFWA plan would pre-empt state and local paid leave laws and certain Workflex laws for employers that voluntarily choose to opt in to the plan and offer a minimum threshold of paid leave and a flexible work option to all employees. Key provisions of the bill are outlined below.

  • To qualify as a QFWA Plan, the Plan would have to offer two major components to all full-time and part-time employees:
    • Paid leave: The number of hours of paid leave would be scaled to the size of the employer and an eligible employee’s tenure with the employer.
    • Flexible work arrangement: The employer would offer at least one flexible work arrangement to each employee. The Plan would specify which positions are offered participation in any one of six workflex options to include: telework, job-sharing, compressed work schedules, predictable scheduling, flexible scheduling or a biweekly work week.
  • Under a QFWA Plan, an employer may establish a biweekly work schedule, consisting of no more than 80 hours over a two-week period, and must pay overtime (1½ times regular rate) for all hours worked in excess of 80 hours in the two-week period. No work week may consist of more than 60 hours.
  • Participating employers would satisfy all state and local paid sick leave requirements (NOT state family leave insurance laws).
  • Federal contractors offering a QFWA plan would satisfy the Obama administration paid sick leave executive order.

Background:

The need for federal legislation to create one standard for Workflex—short for workplace flexibility—is urgent, because the modern workplace has changed and will continue to change rapidly. Employees need more options for getting their work done and taking time off, and employers need more certainty and predictability than the current patchwork of state and local paid leave laws provide.

SHRM believes that the United States must have a 21st Century Workflex policy that works for employers and employees alike, helping them meet work-life and organizational needs. At its core, a 21st Century Workflex policy must facilitate the expansion of paid leave and Workflex options regarding when, where and how work is done. And it must account for different work environments and be accessible by employers of all sizes and in all industries. It must avoid old ways of thinking that hold the workplace back.

State and local paid leave laws are complex and create a fragmented patchwork that is hard for employers to navigate—and it’s getting worse. Overlapping and fragmented paid leave laws specify different levels of leave, employee eligibility rules and accrual rates—creating a complex problem for employers, particularly multistate employers. Currently, ten states and more than 30 jurisdictions have passed sick leave laws and additional sick leave mandates are likely to be adopted going forward.

Given these realities, the modern workplace would benefit from public policy options that encourage employers to implement Workflex strategies that help employees meet their work-life needs.

Thanks in advance for your consideration and support. If you have any questions regarding the Workflex in the 21st Century Act or this sign-on letter, please contact Patrick Brady, Director, Congressional Affairs for Labor and Employment Policy at SHRM at Patrick.Brady@shrm.org or (703) 535-6246.

Thanks in advance for your help!

Meredith Nethercutt | Director, Member Advocacy
Society for Human Resource Management
1800 Duke Street | Alexandria, VA 22314
Meredith.Nethercutt@shrm.org | +1.703.535.6417
shrm.org | Twitter: @SHRMATeam

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