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Should Private Sector Workers Get the Choice of Comp Time Instead of Overtime?

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What is it?

This bill would provide compensatory time (or “comp time”) for private sector employees, allowing them to convert each hour of accrued overtime into at least 1.5 hours of paid time off if they choose to. Workers could do so at any time, and could also convert comp time back into overtime. Comp time could only be provided under the terms of a collective bargaining agreement or the individual employee’s consent. Employees would be able to use the time paid time off at their request, so long as the timing doesn’t unduly disrupt the employer’s operations.

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) would be required to report to Congress about the extent to which employers provide comp time. as well as the number of complaints alleging violations of the comp time rules and the status of those complaints.

This legislation would sunset after five years its enactment, so it’d need to be reauthorized it’d no longer be in effect.


Employees; employers; and labor regulators.


The CBO estimates that enacting this bill would not increase spending.

More Information

In-Depth: Sponsoring Rep. Martha Roby (R-AL) introduced this bill to give greater choice and time flexibility to private sector workers by allowing them the choice between overtime and paid time off:

“As a working mom, I understand all too well the challenges that working parents face in juggling a career and managing a family. Whether it’s coaching a child’s tee ball team or caring for an aging parent, family responsibilities often require time away from work. Congress can’t legislative another hour into the day, but we can give working parents more choices over how they use their time. The Working Families Flexibility Act would finally offer Americans working in the private sector what their peers in the public sector already enjoy: more freedom and more control over their time so they can spend it the way they choose.”

Democrats have opposed this bill, saying it’d enable employers to coerce employees into taking paid time off instead of overtime pay. Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA) said it “doesn’t give employees any rights they don’t already have” and that it does “create a new right for employers to withhold employees’ overtime pay.”

This legislation was passed by the House Education and Workforce Committee on a 22-16 vote. It has the support of 17 cosponsors

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