Paid time off for private-sector, nonexempt workers could become an option under legislation being promoted by the Society for Human Resource Management.
SHRM urged the U.S. House Education and Workforce Committee to pass the legislation during a subcommittee hearing this week.
“Since comp time has worked well within the public sector at the state and federal level for nearly three decades, it is troubling that Congress has not extended this same benefit to hard-working private-sector employees,” said Juanita Phillips, director of human resources for the Intuitive Research and Technology Corp., speaking on behalf of SHRM.
SHRM, she said, supports the Working Families Flexibility Act of 2013 (H.R. 1406), which was introduced by Rep. Martha Roby, R-Ala.
Under the bill, private-sector employers could offer employees the option of taking overtime in cash or in the form of paid time off. Protections for employees are also included in the bill, and it does not impact the 40-hour workweek or alter how overtime is calculated. Since 1970, federal employees have had access to paid time off.
Phillips noted that her employer is a federal government contractor, and nonexempt employees work directly with federal government, nonexempt employees.
“It is incredibly difficult to explain to my employees why they cannot take comp time while the government employees they work alongside can,” Phillips said.
According to SHRM, today's business world requires a more flexible approach that helps employees and their families maintain a work-life balance while also offering predictability and stability for employers.
“At its core, workplace flexibility is about improving business results by providing employees with more control over how, when and where work gets done,” Phillips says. “H.R. 1406 would give private-sector nonexempt employees more control by giving them the option of paid time off in lieu of cash wages for overtime hours worked.”