House members voted 229-197 Tuesday to approve H.R. 1180, a bill that could give employers governed by the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 overtime rules formal permission to offer employees compensatory time off in place of overtime pay.
H.R. 1180, the Working Families Flexibility Act of 2017, could create opportunities for disability insurers, benefit plan administrators, payroll companies and other companies to expand sales of time-tracking and absence management services. Many of those companies have increased their focus on those services in recent years.
(Related: Department of Labor’s 2016 by the Numbers)
The bill was introduced by Rep. Martha Roby, R-Ala. The House Education and the Workforce Committee handled the bill before it reached the House Rules Committee.
All Democrats who voted Tuesday voted against the bill, and six Republicans crossed party lines to oppose it. It’s not clear whether the bill has enough support to pass in the Senate.
H.R. 1180 would let a private employer offer an employee up to 160 hours of comp time, or 20 standard eight-hour work days, in place of overtime pay per year, according to a copy of the H.R. 1180 bill text on the House Rules Committee website.
An employee would be eligible for comp time only if the employee had worked at least 1,000 hours, or the equivalent of 25 40-hour work weeks, for the employer in the previous 12-month period.
The employee would have to enter into an agreement to receive comp time voluntarily, and not as a condition of employment.
Once an employee had accrued 80 hours of comp time, the employer could choose to pay for the overtime with cash rather than with comp time.
The employer could require an employee to use the comp time requested “within a reasonable period,” and in a way that “does not unduly disrupt the operations of the employer.”