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Beware: Laws That Will Take Away Your Overtime Pay are In the Works

Beware: Laws That Will Take Away Your Overtime Pay are In the Works

You ARE entitled to overtime pay if you are paid by the hour and work more than 40 hours in a workweek -- but that may change if a Republican-passed bill in the U.S. House of Representatives becomes law, which it should not!

This month, the House of Representatives passed a bill that would allow your employer to give your comp time off instead of overtime pay. The business community, with slick marketing, is already trumpeting this bill as a “win/win” for both employers and workers. However, that is simply not the case, because comp time:

 

  • Strips workers of the basic guarantees of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA): fair pay for overtime work and time off from work. The FLSA mandates a 40-hour workweek and the right for certain workers to be paid at one-and-a-half times their regular rate when their workplaces demand longer hours. The FLSA’s overtime pay requirement created a disincentive for employers to overwork employees, and an incentive to hire additional workers and create additional jobs.
  • Gives financial incentives to assign overtime hours to workers who agree to accept comp time instead of overtime wages and workers would bear the financial hardship of not getting overtime pay.

Furthermore, under the bill, workers who accrue comp time would not be guaranteed the opportunity to use it when they need it. An employer can easily say “no” to a request by an employee to use his or her earned comp time.

Also, while the bill says that employers would be prohibited from coercing, intimidating or threatening workers for the purpose of interfering with their right to request or decline to request comp time, but the only remedy provided – the right to sue in court – would be too costly, protracted and risky for a typical employee to pursue. Employees would have no remedy for denied comp time requests other than asking to have the value of the time cashed out. Even then, employers would have 30 days to cash out the value of the wages earned through overtime work, despite workers’ more immediate needs. Workers whose employers go out of business or bankrupt would have no recourse to recover the value of banked time.

Hopefully, the U.S. Senate will not consider this terrible piece of legislation.

Lebau & Neuworth will be closely following the bill’s progress and do our part in fighting against it – because we fight for you! If you have questions or need more information on overtime laws, please contact Lebau & Neuworth at 888-456-2529 or lebauneuworth.com/contact-us.

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