The House of Representatives recently passed the Working Families Flexibility Act of 2017 with all but six Republicans voting for the measure, and no Democrats.
Putting your political leanings aside, this legislation gives private employers the ability to no longer pay you in your next paycheck for overtime work you provide. That time-and-a-half pay may not appear in your paycheck to help you deal with your finances. Instead the rule allows your company to instead give you time off to balance out the overtime work. The exact wording in the Bill says:
“An employee may receive, in accordance with this subsection and in lieu of monetary overtime compensation, compensatory time off at a rate not less than one and one-half hours for each hour of employment for which overtime compensation is required by this section.”
The Republican pushed legislation has some limits. The maximum number of time off hours that can be earned is 160. And at the end of the year, any hours not given off will be paid for.
Now that all sounds okay but the gotcha here is earned time off can’t be used at the whim of the employee but must still be approved by the employer. So it is possible you might have to work overtime, get time off hours in return, not be able to use them and get a check for unused hours after January 31st of the following year.
If employees ever read the fine print to this law or bother to read it at all, they will also find “An employee may also request in writing that monetary compensation be provided, at any time, for all compensatory time accrued that has not yet been used. Within 30 days of receiving the written request, the employer shall provide the employee the monetary compensation due.”
So while it might feel as if this new proposed law will not be a big deal, it certainly will be when you find yourself working overtime to make ends meet and you get time off instead of a bigger paycheck and then it takes at least a month or to the end of the year to cash that out.
You you want to find out what the latest is on this proposed law, click here.
If passed, I fully expect tens of thousands of conversations each year that start with, “What the F*** do you mean I’m not getting paid in this paycheck for my overtime?” For some who are fully informed, aware of the change, and have a flexible company they work for, it could be a good thing.