Lawmaker Reintroduces Family-Friendly Workplace Act

March 3, 2009 ( - U.S. House Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Washington) in February reintroduced the Family-Friendly Workplace Act (H.R. 933), a measure that would allow workers to opt for paid time off as compensation for overtime hours.

The Family-Friendly Workplace Act amends the Fair Labor Standards Act to allow private sector employers to offer employees the choice of paid time off in lieu of cash wages for overtime hours worked if the employee prefers to take compensatory time instead of overtime pay, according to a press release on the Education and Labor Committee Republican Web site. McMorris Rodgers previously introduced the legislation in May 2008 (see U.S. House Member Proposes PTO as Overtime Wages ).

Under the law, an employee opting to take “comp time” would receive paid time off at a rate of one-and-one-half hours of compensatory time per hour of “overtime” pay earned. For example, an employee working 48 hours in a week would receive either eight hours of pay at time-and-a-half or twelve hours of paid time off.

Other provisions of the bill, according to the press release, include:

  • There must be a written agreement between the employer and the employee, entered into knowingly and voluntarily by the employee.
  • Where the employee is represented by a union, the agreement to offer compensatory time must be part of the collective bargaining agreement negotiated between the union and the employer.
  • A compensatory time agreement may not be made a condition of employment, and the legislation does not affect the 40-hour workweek or change the way overtime pay is calculated.
  • Employees could accrue up to 160 hours of compensatory time each year, and an employer would be required to pay cash wages for any accrued, unused compensatory time at the end of each year. Employees would always have the right to receive cash wages for overtime worked.

More information can be found on the Education and Labor Committee Republican Web site: .