Posted: May 31, 2013
NFDA recently sent a letter to Sen. Tom Harkin, chair of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, expressing strong support for the "Working Families Flexibility Act of 2013" (H.R. 1406), which would allow any employer to make compensatory time available as an option for any and all employees regardless of their status under Wage and Hour laws and regulations.
Under current law, only public sector employees can receive compensatory time off in lieu of monetary overtime compensation. With certain exemptions for those serving in an executive, administrative or professional capacity, this option does not extend to the private sector. Any violation of this law carries significant penalties.
For many years, NFDA has argued that private sector employers and employees should have available compensatory time off as an option in much the same way as public sector employees have now. H.R. 1406 would give private sector employers that option.
In 1938, the Fair Labor Standards Act was written for a marketplace primarily comprised of manufacturing firms. Today, private enterprise is dominated by service and high technology industries and the lines between white and blue-collar workers have been blurred. While labor s dominated the past in terms of workers' rights, today's worker wants more control over his or her work schedule.
The ability for small employers to give their workers more flexibility by providing them with the choice of overtime pay or compensatory time to ease the burdens of juggling work and personal responsibilities in a fluctuating business cycle is critical. This is especially true for funeral service with its erratic and long working hours and its uncertain business cycle.
H.R. 1406 was passed by the House on May 8 and is now in the hands of the Senate. NFDA will keep you apprised of the status of this bill as it moves through the Senate.
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