Ms. magazine  -- more than a magazine a movement

SIGN UP FOR MS. DIGEST, JOBS, NEWS AND ALERTS

FEMINIST WIRE NEWSBRIEFS

ABOUT
SEE CURRENT ISSUE
SHOP MS. STORE
MS. IN THE CLASSROOM
FEMINIST DAILY WIRE
FEMINIST RESOURCES
PRESS
JOBS AT MS.
READ BACK ISSUES
CONTACT
RSS (XML)
 
feminist wire | daily newsbriefs

May-09-13

Working Families Flexibility Act Passes House, Threatens Over Time Pay

A bill that would remove over time pay and replace it with "comp" time passed the House yesterday in a vote along party lines of 223 to 204.

The Working Families Flexibility Act, dubbed the "More Work, Less Pay Act" by Democrats, would replace overtime pay at the hour-and-a-half rate with comp time that workers would use at a later time at the employer's discretion. Supporters of the Act argue that this will allow working women and care-givers the ability to control their schedules and get more time off. However, critics and labor activists contend that it empowers employers to demand their employees work extra hours over the standard 40 hour work week without any consequences for the employer and at the expense of the worker. The bill also gives workers the right to sue if an employer intimidates them into accepting comp time instead of overtime pay, but denies the ability to seek remedies from the Department of Labor. It also does not provide [PDF] the department of Labor with any funds to enforce the act.

Ellie Smeal, President of the Feminist Majority, said, "The Republican Working Families Flexibility Act is a fraud and anything but working family friendly. The act simply works to kill overtime pay and allow flex time only to meet the employer's needs."

The White House issued a statement saying, "This legislation undermines the existing right to hard-earned overtime pay, on which many working families rely to make ends meet, while misrepresenting itself as a workplace flexibility measure that gives power to employees over their own schedules."

In a joint op-ed in the Huffington Post, Representative Gwen Moore (D-WI) and President of the AFL-CIO Arlene Holt Baker said, "For many working families, taking home less pay at the end of the day means less money to cover rent, education costs, medical bills and other living expenses. The 'choice' to take unpaid time off is not a choice at all... At a time when workers are already working harder for less, those who rely on overtime to make ends meet could face even more financial challenges. The kind of support that working families are looking for would be available by strengthening their ability to collectively bargain on the job for higher wages, safer workplaces, better health care and paid time off options. Working families deserve better than H.R. 1406."

Media Resources: Huffington Post 5/8/2013, 5/7/2013; The Nation 5/7/2013; National Partnership for Women and Families


© Feminist Majority Foundation, publisher of Ms. magazine

If you liked this story, consider making a tax-deductible donation to support Ms. magazine.

 

 

Send to a Friend
Their
Your
Comments
(optional)


More Feminist News

8/1/2014 Constitutional Court Invalidates Uganda's Anti-Gay Law - Uganda's Constitutional Court today struck down - on procedural grounds - a package of anti-gay policies signed into law this February by President Yoweri Museveni, but left room for lawmakers to attempt to pass the law, or another version of it, again. Ten petitioners, including activists, academics, advocates, and MPs, challenged the draconian Anti-Homosexuality Act in court, claiming that it was passed improperly and violated the constitutional rights of Ugandans to live free from discrimination and with privacy and dignity. . . .
 
8/1/2014 Congress Introduces Legislation to Protect Students from Sexual Assault - A bipartisan group of Senators introduced a bill Wednesday that aims to address the issue of sexual assault on college campuses. The Campus Accountability and Safety Act, cosponsored by Senators Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Dean Heller (R-NV), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), Mark Warner (D-VA), and Marco Rubio (R-FL), focuses on steps colleges can take to proactively protect students. . . .
 
8/1/2014 A Call for Action to Reduce Gun Deaths Among Victims of Domestic Violence - Over 250 people gathered inside the Dirksen Senate building on Wednesday to support legislation aimed at decreasing intimate partner homicide through gun violence. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) chaired the standing-room only Senate Judiciary Committee hearing - which required an overflow room - and was joined by Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. . . .