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View Full Version : Economics Some Repubs Want To Limit Overtime Payment to Workers


gblowfish
05-07-2013, 03:48 PM
http://news.yahoo.com/gop-seeks-alternative-overtime-pay-074228556.html

WASHINGTON (AP) It seems like a simple proposition: give employees who work more than 40 hours a week the option of taking paid time off instead of overtime pay.

The choice already exists in the public sector. Federal and state workers can save earned time off and use it weeks or even months later to attend a parent-teacher conference, care for an elderly parent or deal with home repairs.

Republicans in Congress are pushing legislation that would extend that option to the private sector. They say that would bring more flexibility to the workplace and help workers better balance family and career.

The push is part of a broader Republican agenda undertaken by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., to expand the party's political appeal to working families. The House is expected to vote on the measure this week, but the Democratic-controlled Senate isn't likely to take it up.

"For some people, time is more valuable than the cash that would be accrued in overtime," said Rep. Martha Roby, R-Ala., the bill's chief sponsor. "Why should public-sector employees be given a benefit and the private sector be left out?"

But the idea Republicans promote as "pro-worker" is vigorously opposed by worker advocacy groups, labor unions and most Democrats, who claim it's really a backdoor way for businesses to skimp on overtime pay.

The White House on Monday issued a veto threat, saying the bill undermines the right to overtime pay and doesn't offer enough protection for workers who may not want to receive compensatory time off in lieu of overtime pay.

"This is nothing more than an effort to turn a sow's ear into a silk purse," said Judith Lichtman, senior adviser to the National Partnership for Women and Families. She contends the measure would open the door for employers to pressure workers into taking compensatory time off instead of overtime pay.

The program was created in the public sector in 1985 to save federal, state and local governments money, not to give workers greater flexibility, Lichtman said. Many workers in federal and state government are unionized or have civil service protections that give them more leverage in dealing with supervisors, she added. Those safeguards don't always exist in the private sector, where only about 6.6 percent of employees are union members.

Phil Jones, 29, an emergency medical technician in Santa Clara, Calif., said he's wary of how the measure would be enforced.

"Any time there's a law that will keep extra money in an employer's bank account, they will try to push employees to make that choice," said Jones, who regularly earns overtime pay. "I know how we get taken advantage of and I think this bill will just let employers take even more advantage of us."

But at a hearing on the bill last month, Karen DeLoach, a bookkeeper at a Montgomery, Ala., accounting firm, said she liked the idea of swapping overtime pay for comp time so she could travel with her church on its annual mission trip to Nicaragua.

"I would greatly appreciate the option at work to choose between being compensated in dollars or days," she said.

The GOP plan is an effort to change the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, which requires covered employees to receive time-and-a-half pay for every hour over 40 within a work week. The proposal would allow workers to bank up to 160 hours, or four weeks, of comp time per year that could be used to take time off for any reason.

The bill would let an employee decide to cash out comp time at any time, and forbids employers from coercing workers to take comp time instead of cash.

Republicans and business groups have tried to pass the plan in some form since the 1990s. Marc Freedman, executive director of labor law policy for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, insists it's not about reducing wage costs.
"It's an alternative to the mandated paid leave approaches that Democrats typically support," Freedman said. "We believe it's more appropriate to give employers the choice on whether they want to do this."

Democrats say the bill provides no guarantee that workers would be able to take the time off when they want. The bill gives employers discretion over whether to grant a specific request to use comp time. Opponents also complain that banking leave time essentially gives employers an interest free loan from workers.

Lichtman said workers would rather get paid sick days, paid family leave, more unpaid family leave and an increase in the minimum wage.
But Alabama congresswoman Roby argues that, in the long run, those ideas would do workers more harm than good.

"The cost of government-mandated benefits is going to be passed off to American workers," she said, resulting in fewer jobs.

alpha_omega
05-07-2013, 03:52 PM
...Opponents also complain that banking leave time essentially gives employers an interest free loan from workers...

Kind of like the tax collection/refund scenario?

gblowfish
05-07-2013, 04:05 PM
I can see both sides of this.

Some people indeed think time is more important than money.

But most people who agree to work overtime do it because, duh...they need the money.

As long as the worker has the choice of one or the other, I'm OK with this.

BucEyedPea
05-07-2013, 04:09 PM
Yahooooooooooooooooooooo again!

Loneiguana
05-07-2013, 08:38 PM
What I don't like about Compensation time is that if compensation time is ever paid out, it is not at the overtime right of Time and half, just regular time. (your experience may vary on employer, but is how the state works).

Also, hours calculated are not calculated at time and half either. What I mean is you do not get one hour and a half for every hour of overtime you work to simulate the extra income from overtime pay.

I like the restrictions on comp time though. Currently it is being abused to overwork employees without compensation. My wife has over 200 hours of comp time from a year and half on the job and that is after they have forced her to take time off to eat away at the high number.

Now, there is a positive to a number that high as well. It allows for extended paid maternity leave. I guess 160 hours is nice if you can add it in vacation and sick time as well.

Interesting law that I and defiantly going to follow.

/government unions are a joke (at least in MO)

WhiteWhale
05-08-2013, 05:58 AM
What they should do is stop taxing the hell out of people who are willing to do extra work. Companies obviously have to match those tax payments. They already punished people AND companies for overtime. That wasn't enough?

King_Chief_Fan
05-08-2013, 06:02 AM
I can see both sides of this.

Some people indeed think time is more important than money.

But most people who agree to work overtime do it because, duh...they need the money.

As long as the worker has the choice of one or the other, I'm OK with this.

my employer gives the employee the choice...my admin works about 8 - 10 hours a week OT. She prefers the extra time off...then sometimes she prefers the money. This isn't hard to manage.

Loneiguana
05-08-2013, 06:13 AM
Here is an interesting note about the law not found in that first article:

"The bill would allow companies to give hourly workers comp time in lieu of overtime if the workers agree to it. That might not be such a terrible thing, except that the bill doesn't give workers any power to decide when to use the comp time. The employer gets to decide that. If the employer fails to let the worker use a bunch of accrued comp time, the bill would allow the worker to demand the overtime compensation in cash, but it gives the company 30 days to make good on the payment. And if the company stiffs the worker on the overtime compensation, the bill prevents workers from complaining to the US Department of Labor, as they can now, and instead forces them to try to find a lawyer who will take up their cause to collect a few hundred dollars worth of back pay, a fairly toothless enforcement measure. The bill, supported by the US Chamber of Commerce, is a backdoor attempt to shield big companies like Wal-Mart from costly lawsuits they've seen stemming from their systematic refusal to pay low-wage workers the overtime to which they're legally entitled."

Read More here: http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2013/05/house-gop-advances-fake-pro-working-mother-bill

/I do not like that part.

Brainiac
05-08-2013, 06:48 AM
I'm always leery of change just for the sake of change. The system we have has been in place since 1938. Is there a real problem that this bill is trying to correct? I don't see it.

I say leave it alone.

Saul Good
05-08-2013, 01:59 PM
I can see both sides of this.

Some people indeed think time is more important than money.

But most people who agree to work overtime do it because, duh...they need the money.

As long as the worker has the choice of one or the other, I'm OK with this.

So your headline is a complete farce.

It would be more accurate to say "some Democrats don't want workers to have time with their families".

blaise
05-08-2013, 02:15 PM
So your headline is a complete farce.

It would be more accurate to say "some Democrats don't want workers to have time with their families".

They want to limit it by letting people choose another option. It's very sinister stuff.

Loneiguana
05-08-2013, 02:50 PM
So your headline is a complete farce.

It would be more accurate to say "some Democrats don't want workers to have time with their families".

There is some reason for concern. It is a system that would be easier to abuse than straight up extra cash.

Amnorix
05-08-2013, 02:55 PM
Here is an interesting note about the law not found in that first article:

"The bill would allow companies to give hourly workers comp time in lieu of overtime if the workers agree to it. That might not be such a terrible thing, except that the bill doesn't give workers any power to decide when to use the comp time. The employer gets to decide that. If the employer fails to let the worker use a bunch of accrued comp time, the bill would allow the worker to demand the overtime compensation in cash, but it gives the company 30 days to make good on the payment. And if the company stiffs the worker on the overtime compensation, the bill prevents workers from complaining to the US Department of Labor, as they can now, and instead forces them to try to find a lawyer who will take up their cause to collect a few hundred dollars worth of back pay, a fairly toothless enforcement measure. The bill, supported by the US Chamber of Commerce, is a backdoor attempt to shield big companies like Wal-Mart from costly lawsuits they've seen stemming from their systematic refusal to pay low-wage workers the overtime to which they're legally entitled."

Read More here: http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2013/05/house-gop-advances-fake-pro-working-mother-bill

/I do not like that part.


If these parts are true then that's a serious issue.

Also note that this may serve to undermine stronger worker protection laws in place at the state level by preempting them.

BucEyedPea
05-08-2013, 03:20 PM
Here is an interesting note about the law not found in that first article:

"The bill would allow companies to give hourly workers comp time in lieu of overtime if the workers agree to it. ....

Read More here: http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2013/05/house-gop-advances-fake-pro-working-mother-bill



/I do not like that part.


Mother Jones? That's what all the commies used to read when I lived in Cambridge.
Cripe, and you call me the "hack." LMAO

Loneiguana
05-08-2013, 03:45 PM
Mother Jones? That's what all the commies used to read when I lived in Cambridge.
Cripe, and you call me the "hack." LMAO

I knew that would be your reaction. I did attempt to find another source, but I don't have time to hunt down a detail like that in multiple pages of stuff.

Take it as you well. I don't particularly trust them either.

But come on BEP, you can at least give me some credit. I don't only get my news from one source. :D

patteeu
05-08-2013, 06:27 PM
I can see both sides of this.

Some people indeed think time is more important than money.

But most people who agree to work overtime do it because, duh...they need the money.

As long as the worker has the choice of one or the other, I'm OK with this.

That's because that's what you get for overtime now. You won't find many people working overtime in order to get comp time until comp time is available for working overtime. It's complicated, but I can go into more detail if you want. :p

cosmo20002
05-08-2013, 06:35 PM
I knew that would be your reaction. I did attempt to find another source, but I don't have time to hunt down a detail like that in multiple pages of stuff.

Take it as you well. I don't particularly trust them either.

But come on BEP, you can at least give me some credit. I don't only get my news from one source. :D

Here is a complete list of BEP-approved sources:

lewrockwell.com

Dayze
05-09-2013, 01:46 AM
I'd never do comp time in lieu of OT again if I were hourly. I did that once...banked a bunch but when came time to use it there was a "disagreement" in how much I had. By like 30 hrs. Never again.

I'm salary now so it doesn't matter to me at this point but I'd never do the comp time route again unless there was a sure fire way to keep track of it.

BigRedChief
05-09-2013, 02:45 PM
I work overtime for free all the time. At least 5 usually 10-15 hours a week. Sucks but it is what it is if you want to work where I work.

patteeu
05-09-2013, 05:02 PM
I work overtime for free all the time. At least 5 usually 10-15 hours a week. Sucks but it is what it is if you want to work where I work.

It is what it is if you want to work in a zillion places. I don't really get the clock pincher's mentality although I guess paying people by the hour encourages it.

The time and a half deal for voluntary overtime seems absurd to me and it is often abused, IMO. In places where the company just can't get enough volunteers for the necessary work at straight time, I can understand time and a half as an additional incentive.

RedNeckRaider
05-09-2013, 06:49 PM
I work overtime for free all the time. At least 5 usually 10-15 hours a week. Sucks but it is what it is if you want to work where I work.

And I fancy a wager you are well paid in your salary. I would also bet you knew there would be above 40 hours involved before you took the gig. Save me the victim shit~

Dayze
05-10-2013, 08:23 PM
I worked 225 hours on march. Along with a few more salaried folks, and my boss submitted to corporate that their needed to be a compensation adjustment for all the hours part of end of first quarter. Got approved today and should see n the next check.

I was very surprised

Cannibal
05-10-2013, 09:23 PM
People hate Unions, but this is right up their wheelhouse.

Time and a half for a union employee (least it used to be that way).