Partner Mitchell W. Quick was quoted in the Law360 article "4 Things Employers Should Know About 'Comp Time' Bill" on May 3, 2017.
House lawmakers on Tuesday advanced legislation that would enable U.S. businesses to give workers paid time off for overtime in lieu of cash, an option attorneys say could lower employers' overtime costs and boost employee morale, but may also open doors for wage violations and retribution claims.
By a vote of 229-197, House lawmakers passed the Working Families Flexibility Act, which would amend the Fair Labor Standards Act to allow private-sector companies to offer employees who are eligible for overtime the choice between being paid in cash for hours they work above 40 or accruing an hour and a half of paid time off.
Introduced by Rep. Martha Roby, R-Ala., the bill’s proponents say it benefits working families that need time flexibility to meet their family demands, while the bill’s critics such as Rep. Bobby Scott, D-Va., and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., have taken the position that it weakens federal overtime protections and makes it easier for employers to delay paying workers the wages they’ve earned.
Mitchell Quick, a labor and employment partner at Michael Best & Friedrich LLP, believes the overall impact of the FLSA amendment will be a positive for employers.
“It gives employers and employees flexibility [and] gives employers the ability to spread out or defer overtime payments, which may provide for some cash flow relief,” Quick said. “More importantly, employees should welcome the flexibility in scheduling, which could increase employee satisfaction and retention. With certain caveats, employees will be able to schedule paid time off for when it is most convenient to them.”
But before employers can realize those benefits, the bill must first clear a major hurdle in the U.S. Senate, which Ballard Spahr LLP partner Louis Chodoff believes will be difficult.
“I don’t think they have filibuster-proof support for it to pass,” Chodoff said. “I think it’ll have a tough time getting past the Senate.”
Here, Law360 looks at four things employers need to know about the proposed legislation.
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