Ms. magazine  -- more than a magazine a movement



feminist wire | daily newsbriefs


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

More Feminist News

10/13/2015 EEOC Launches Hollywood Gender Discrimination Probe - The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has contacted several women directors in Hollywood in an effort to determine whether legal intervention is necessary to disrupt the industry's discriminatory hiring practices. In a letter sent to some 50 women filmmakers, the EEOC - which is responsible for protecting individuals from employment discrimination based on sex, race, color, religion and national origin through enforcement of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 - requested interviews with them to "learn more about the gender-related issues" women behind the camera face in both the film and television industries. In May, following the release of a study by the San Diego State University Center for the Study of Women in Television in Film revealing only 7 percent of 2014's 250 top-grossing movies were helmed by women, the ACLU of Southern California and the national ACLU Women's Rights Project urged state and federal rights agencies to investigate Hollywood's failure to hire equal numbers of women. . . .
10/12/2015 Report Finds Texas' HB2 Increases Abortion Wait Times - A new report released by the University of Texas at Austin, Texas Policy Evaluation Project found patients seeking abortions in Texas have experienced an increase in wait times since the passage of HB2, the 2013 Texas omnibus anti-abortion bill that attempts to cut off abortion access by requiring abortion providers in the state to fulfill medically unnecessary ambulatory surgical center requirements and secure hospital admitting privileges. More than half of 42 clinics providing abortion in Texas have been forced to shut their doors since HB2 passed two years ago, leading Texas women to wait up to 20 days for a first consult at one of the surviving 18 reproductive health clinics operating in the state, the second most populous in the nation. . . .
10/9/2015 Federal Judge Orders Anti-Abortion Group to Cede Footage to NAF - On Tuesday, a federal judge ruled that anti-abortion group Center for Medical Progress (CMP) and its leader David Daleidan must turn over all previously unreleased "sting" videos and outtakes of National Abortion Federation (NAF) meetings the group obtained surreptitiously as part of a smear campaign against the abortion provider. U.S. . . .