5 things you need to know about the ‘Comp Time’ bill

Reposted from the AFL-CIO NOW blog.

If you are one of the millions of workers who count on overtime to stretch your paycheck, including the 59% of US workers paid by the hour, it’s time to tell House Republicans, “Don’t cut my overtime with your so-called Working Families Flexibility Act (H.R. 1406).” 

The bill would allow employers to stop giving workers any extra pay for overtime work and instead substitute “comp time.”

What would that mean for most workers?

1. “Comp Time” means a pay cut-Workers compensated with time off rather than cash would see a reduction in their take-home pay.

2. “Comp Time” means mandatory overtime-“Comp time” legislation would make mandatory overtime less expensive for employers. Under “comp time” legislation, employers may be able to receive the benefits of overtime work at no additional cost to themselves. 

3. “Comp Time” means more unpredictable work schedules for employees-Making mandatory overtime cheaper for employers would keep workers on the job longer and result in more unpredictable worker schedules and, for workers with children, higher day care costs. 

4. “Comp Time” undermines the 40-hour workweek-The only incentive for employers to maintain a 40-hour workweek is the requirement under the Fair Labor Standards Act that they pay a time-and-a-half cash premium for overtime. “Comp time” legislation, by contrast, would encourage employers to demand longer hours by making overtime less expensive.

5. “Comp Time” is not voluntary-Workers can be coerced into accepting “comp  time” and the employer has the ultimate authority to determine when a worker can use accrued  “comp time.”

Call Congress today and tell your representative to oppose H.R. 1406: 1-888-866-2561.

Also see Mark Gruenberg’s article in the People’s World April 19: GOP pushes to replace overtime with comp time.