BREAKING NEWS: HOUSE PASSES BILL ALLOWING PRIVATE-SECTOR EMPLOYEES TO TAKE COMPENSATORY TIME

2017 NEW MEXICO LEGISLATIVE SESSION UPDATE
April 10, 2017
WORKPLACE INVESTIGATIONS
May 16, 2017

BREAKING NEWS: HOUSE PASSES BILL ALLOWING PRIVATE-SECTOR EMPLOYEES TO TAKE COMPENSATORY TIME

House Passes Bill Allowing Private-Sector Employees to Take Compensatory Time

Yesterday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill known as the Working Families Flexibility Act. The Act would amend the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) to allow non-exempt (hourly) employees to agree to receive compensatory time off in lieu of overtime wages.  For many years, employees of governmental entities have been able to take comp time in lieu of overtime pay.  The Act would extend that option to private-sector employees.  Here are the key provisions of the Act:

  • To be eligible to receive comp time in lieu of overtime wages, the employee must have worked at least 1,000 hours in a period of continuous employment with the employer during the preceding year and an agreement between the employee and employer must be affirmed in writing or be otherwise verifiable.

 

  • The employer could not make it a condition of employment that an employee agree to receive comp time in lieu of overtime wages.

 

  • If an employee chooses to receive comp time in lieu of overtime wages, the comp time would accrue at 1.5 times the rate of the overtime hours worked. So, if an employee who chooses to receive comp time works 44 hours in a workweek, then that employee would accrue six hours of comp time.

 

  • An employee could accrue up to 160 hours of comp time each year and any unused time must be paid out at the end of the year or at the end of the employment.

The Act was passed by the House along party lines with all Democrats and only six Republicans voting against the bill.  The New Mexico Congressional delegation also split along party lines with Michelle Lujan Grisham and Ben Ray Lujan voting against the bill and Steve Pearce voting for the bill.  The Democrats have criticized the measure because it gives employers the final say for when employees may use accrued comp time. The White House has issued a statement that, if the bill were presented to President Trump in its current form, he would sign the bill into law. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has not yet said whether the Senate will take up the proposal.

Sheehan & Sheehan, P.A. will keep you informed of future developments involving the Working Families Flexibility Act.