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House Committee on Education and the Workforce Approves Bill that Would Allow Private Employers to Offer Comp Time for Overtime Work

April 2013

By: Phoebe A. Taurick, Esq.

On April 17, 2013, the United States House Committee on Education and the Workforce approved a bill that would amend the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) to allow private employers to offer compensatory time off for overtime work, if both employee and employer agree in writing, rather than the traditional time-and-a-half wage payments currently mandated by FLSA. Under this bill, any unused comp time at the end of the year would be paid out in cash, and employees would be free to cash out their accrued comp time at any earlier time upon request. This bill, nicknamed the "Roby Bill" after its sponsor, Martha Roby (R-AL), would give private-sector employers and employees the same flexibility offered to those in the public sector.

Bills on this topic have been proposed in Congress since 1996, with the most recent iteration appearing four years ago. The committee vote followed party lines, passing with a margin of 23-14. Employers should follow the latest news on this topic at http://www.wesselssherman.com/ to see whether or not employers and employees are ultimately granted this flexibility in determining compensation for overtime work.