Republicans focus on workplace flexibility measure in weekly address
May 11th, 2013
06:00 AM ET
10 years ago

Republicans focus on workplace flexibility measure in weekly address

(CNN) – A measure recently approved by the U.S. House altering federal overtime laws that was sharply opposed by Democrats, and isn’t expected to pass the Democrat-led Senate, was the subject of Saturday’s weekly Republican address.

Rep. Martha Roby, R-Alabama, who authored the Working Families Flexibility Act, said the measure “provides options for working moms and dads who need more time to take care of family responsibilities” and “demonstrates how applying conservative principles can help working Americans in their everyday lives.”

The measure, which was approved 223-204 this week in the House, would extend certain rules dictating overtime pay for government workers to those working in the private sector.

The proposed law would allow workers to choose extra pay for time worked over 40 hours per week, or instead take “comp” time that could be used at a later date.

That benefit is currently enjoyed by Americans working in the public sector, and Roby said Saturday her bill would allow all workers to “have more freedom in the workplace.”

Democrats, however, oppose the measure, saying it leaves an opening for employers to exploit their workers. They have cited concerns about employees not being able to utilize “comp” time earned from overtime work, and say the system is effective in the public sector since many of those employees are unionized.

“I understand it’s comp time, but they won’t get paid,” House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer said Wednesday. “Most workers at this level need the pay. They need to pay their mortgage, they need to pay their car payment, they need to send their kids to school.”

Roby defended her bill on Saturday, saying it won’t “change the 40-hour work week or how overtime pay is calculated.”

“The same protections that have been a part of labor law for decades remain, and we’ve added additional protections against coercion or unfair treatment,” she continued. “This bill also doesn’t add government regulation to the workplace – we have enough red tape as is.”

Filed under: Republicans
soundoff (18 Responses)
  1. Marie MD

    This roby is a comedian. This coming from the fools of congress who get the most time off in the world for vacations and holidays and just plain every day do nothing work!
    Real workers are already working longer hours for the same pay, including federal workers who are not slaving away in congress!
    As far as conservative principles what exactly does she mean? Adulterers, liars, car thieves, abortions for nobody but me and my mistress, hiking the Appalachian in Argentina, trolling for men in airport bathrooms, taking boy toys to Italy or giving money to his mistress' parents to name a few of your "values". Please explain.

    May 11, 2013 07:22 am at 7:22 am |
  2. Rick McDaniel

    BS. They are learning the dirty tricks of the NO WAY should employers be allowed to do what the government gets away with, in abusing employees.

    They exempted the Federal and state governments from being required to pay overtime, and that led to employee abuses.

    May 11, 2013 08:48 am at 8:48 am |
  3. GI Joe

    Flexibility is when they get to work 3 part-time days and then take off 2 weeks - AT FULL PAY.

    May 11, 2013 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  4. Donkey Party

    Just another GOP ploy to strip working-class Americans of rights that were originally negotiated by unions. Add "anti-worker" to the GOP's list of groups they loathe (anti-gay, anti-minority, anti-women, anti-intellectual, etc.).

    May 11, 2013 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  5. lottie

    beware the GOP they never give anything to the American worker without strings attached. Like they really care then why the sequester that really effect the lower income . Kids in my area not allowed to go to head start and cuts in meals on wheels already happening. They are always on vacation in congress.

    May 11, 2013 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  6. Brandon

    Call me crazy but isn't America trying to find MORE work right now? I think the GOP should spend more time trying to CREATE more jobs and less time trying to TAKE more hours away from the worker!

    May 11, 2013 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  7. sammy750

    This bill takes our workers back several decades, taking away the workers rights. The Republicans have a way to take away rights of the people with the LIES they tell the people Thirty years ago, corporate leaders made 30% more in wages then the average worker, today corporate leaders make 350% more in wages. The middle class has been fading fast with the help of the Republicans.
    The Republicans continue there war against the middle class, The only way to change this direction is to defeat Republicans. They don't care about the middle class. Defeat Republicans in 2014 and 2016. We cannot allow them to control the states or this nation if we want to survive.

    May 11, 2013 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  8. GI Joe

    I worked a contract where I was forced to work at least 45 to 50 hrs/week. The company I worked for charged the State for every hour, but I got paid for 40 - no comp, no overtime.

    That's how they do it. Oh – all my bosses were here on H1-B visas. hint hint

    May 11, 2013 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  9. Dan5404

    This is nothing but a ploy to not pay overtime. Under the current law, if an employee chooses time off instead of pay, it must be one-and-one-half hours for each overtime hour, just like the pay option is time-and-a-half. My private company did that years ago on their own. The only restriction was that the supervisor had to okay when the time off came, just like vacations.

    May 11, 2013 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  10. Newspaper boy

    Gads. For once i'll go with the GOP. Letting the employee choose is not going against the employees!!!. Now if employers were to force this upon them, it's a differant ball game. I have worked under this plan in Europe for over 20 yrs. Its a real win-win for everyone. And remember, if the employee needs the money, he can choose to be paid.

    May 11, 2013 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  11. jkane sfl the gop national disgrace party will be swept out like the trash they are in2014 ?

    Next the gop will try to get their brain dead gop voters to accept the worthless coins for pay ,only accepted at the company store and company sub standard housing like they did to the coal miners in the 1910 and 1920 s. This gop garbage has to go unless your dumb enough to except worthless pay . Hey gop voters, that's why we have unions, get a brain morons!!!!!

    May 11, 2013 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  12. John from Brooklyn

    In other words....EXXON doesn't want to pay overtime anymore.

    May 11, 2013 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  13. jkane sfl the gop national disgrace party will be swept out like the trash they are in2014 ?

    If you want to live on the worthless company goon to spend at the company store ,vote gop!!!!

    May 11, 2013 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  14. David

    Will the Repubs never learn, clearly a bill that will hurt workers. They can spin it all they want but anyone with half a brain knows this is bad for the working man.

    May 11, 2013 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  15. Bernard obryant

    Democrats was cover up in b crisis they should tell senate rep via demo and house republican via democrat the truth about what happen

    May 11, 2013 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  16. Bernard obryant

    Job are few create how cut or lower taxes and set up and make work program

    May 11, 2013 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  17. Mack

    They need to work on a jobs bill rather than being flunkies for their corporate masters. We know you need to pay back all those donations/bribes.

    May 11, 2013 11:40 pm at 11:40 pm |
  18. Mack

    They don't give a damm about the working class.

    May 11, 2013 11:41 pm at 11:41 pm |