President Floats Comp Time Proposal

Aug 06, 2004
George Anderson

By George Anderson

The Bush Administration has proposed a change in labor laws to give workers the option of choosing to take additional time off for working beyond their normal 40-hour week rather than being paid for those hours at the overtime rate.

According to an MSNBC report, President Bush mentioned the proposal yesterday while on the campaign stump in Ohio. He said the government should allow employers to tell employees they can spend more time with their families.

The 1938 Fair Labor Standards Act bars private companies from offering comp time as an alternative to overtime.

Mr. Bush’s proposal faces a rough row to hoe in the Republican-controlled Congress, according to MSNBC.

Organized labor groups suggest that if made into law, the proposal would save companies millions while denying workers additional pay.

Moderator’s Comment: Do you favor President Bush’s proposal giving employees the option of choosing comp time rather than additional pay for overtime
worked? What would its passage mean to the retail business?

While we understand the concerns of business trying to reign in expenses, for us this issue is about fairness to employees. For it to be fair, the choice
of getting paid for overtime worked or taking comp time needs to be up to the worker and not the company.

For many hourly workers in this country, OT pay is something they count on to get the bills paid. Forcing them to take comp time, “to spend time with family”,
doesn’t work out all that well if the rest of family is out working jobs of their own or attending school.

George Anderson – Moderator

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