WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. House has passed a bill that would give employees who work more than 40 hours a week a choice between taking time off or being paid time-and-a-half for the overtime hours.
The Working Families Flexibility Act, HR 1180, sponsored by Rep. Martha Roby, R-Ala., passed by a vote of 229 to 197, largely along party lines. It is supported by most small business trade groups, including the Tire Industry Association, but opposed by a number of family advocacy groups and labor unions.
H.R. 1180 would alter the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) to allow certain employees to choose to take paid time off rather than overtime pay when working more than 40 hours in a week, according to the National Small Business Association (NSBA).
Supporters of the bill claim some workers would rather take earned time off, known as "comp time," instead of receiving overtime pay, the NSBA said. Under the bill, employees could accrue up to 160 hours of compensatory time in a year, at 1.5 hours for each hour worked.
Democrats largely opposed the bill, saying it would undermine crucial labor protections.
Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, has introduced a companion bill (S. 801) in the Senate, but it remains unclear whether Republicans will be able to overcome a Democratic filibuster, the NSBA said. President Trump's advisers have indicated he would sign the bill if presented.