WASHINGTON — The House narrowly passed a bill on Wednesday, 223 to 204, that aims to give all private sector employees, including the millions who work in retail, the choice between being paid for overtime or using compensatory time off.
Retail groups support the legislation, saying that it gives employees flexibility to meet family obligations.
However, the bill will unlikely advance far in the Democratic-controlled Senate because a large contingency of Democrats oppose it, and President Obama has vowed to veto it.
The bill, dubbed the “Working Families Flexibility Act 2013,” would allow employees who work more than 40 hours a week to accrue up to 160 hours of comp time each year, which the employee could then use to take time off for any reason.
It stipulates that the choice must be voluntary and that an employer would be required to pay cash wages for any unused time at the end of the year. The bill also allows employees to cash out comp time at any time and prohibits employers from forcing workers to take comp time instead of cash.
The measure would amend the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, which requires employees to receive time-and-a-half pay for every hour over 40 worked in a week.
“The passage of legislation that would allow for the option paid time off instead of compensation for overtime work would be beneficial to everyone in the workforce,” said David French, senior vice president of government relations at the National Retail Federation, in a letter to Speaker of the House John Boehner (R., Ohio).
“NRF believes the bill would create a mechanism for allowing flexibility in the workplace for those who need, and want, paid time off in lieu of cash for overtime work. This is a privilege that many federal, state and local governments are able to offer their workers and it is time for the private sector to have those same options.”
“The federal government should stop denying private-sector employers and employees the same scheduling flexibility available within the public-sector,” said Bill Hughes, senior vice president for government affairs, at the Retail Industry Leaders Association when the bill was introduced in April.
Republican lawmakers in the House argued the bill will help employees in the private sector juggle the demands of family and work through greater flexibility.
Democrats and worker rights and labor groups are vigorously opposed to the bill, arguing that it could give rise to some employers to pressure workers not to take overtime pay and would not guarantee that workers would be able to take off the extra time when they requested it.
President Obama has vowed to veto the legislation, saying it “does not provide sufficient protections for employees who may not want to receive compensatory time off in lieu of overtime pay….or guarantee that workers will be able to use the time they have earned when they choose.”
The president said the measure also fails to provide a remedy to workers who are denied their requests for time off and does not protect the accrued time if companies go out of business of file for bankruptcy.
EXCLUSIVE: @tomford is opening its first-ever beauty store. The boutique, which opens November 20 in London’s Covent Gardens, was designed with the over-the-top glam Ford is known for. Read the full story on WWD.com, link in bio. #wwdbeauty #wwdnews (📷: Simon Wagner) #TomFordBeauty
New York-based DJ @harleyvnewton threw a party to celebrate the holiday collection of her dress and pajama line @hvn at the Ladurée Beverly Hills. It Girls @katebosworth, @rashidajones and more joined in on the fun, which included cocktails, croque monsieur sandwiches and a photo booth. #wwdfashion (📷: Owen Kolasinski/BFA.com)
For the holidays, @Burberry partnered with 20-year-old artist @blondeymccoy on a series of three outdoor murals in downtown Manhattan. The murals are McCoy’s interpretation of a Christmas eve party, the idea of charity and the spirit of family. His third mural, pictured here, is the most personal. The image depicts McCoy’s grandparents and father in London’s Trafalgar Square in the Seventies. “My work often features lots of sentimental objects.” #wwdeye
For spring 2018, designers applied bold colors and cartoonish motifs on everything from sneakers and belts to key chains. See all the top men’s accessories trends on WWD.com. #wwdtrends (📷: George Chinsee; Prop Styling by @rnasti; Market Editor: @luiscampuzano)
The @dior-sponsored @guggenheim international gala pre-party has a history of drawing cool-girl musical acts to serenade the crowd –– and last night was no exception. @haimtheband performed songs both new and old, and lured a star-studded audience with the likes of Rebecca Hall, Kate Mara, Mamoudou Athie and more. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)
In a partnership between the @metopera and the @englishnationalopera, “Marnie” was born. The opera, with costumes sponsored by @mrporterlive, is an adaptation of the 1961 thriller by Winston Graham. Arianne Phillips, who created the costumes, is no rookie: She’s styled Madonna for her tours and created costumes for a myriad of films in the past. Read WWD’s interview with Phillips, where she talks about her inspiration for the opera’s costumes on WWD.com #wwdfashion
@barneysnyc took a different approach to their holiday windows this year. Instead of Christmas decor, Barneys tapped @thehaasbrothers to tell a story of positivity, gratitude and inclusivity via heartwarming silliness and humor. “It’s about kids and it’s about coming together and being family and loving each other,” said Simon Haas. #wwdfashion (📷: @joshuascottphoto)
Beauty influencer @kandeejohnson makes her foray into hair care with a collaboration with @ogx_beauty — making it the first time that OGX has teamed up for a product creation. The collab includes shampoos and conditioners in three scents. At 39 and a mom, Johnson is a different profile than the emerging social media stars, but is considered one of the pioneers of the digital beauty influencer world. Read WWD’s interview with her on wwd.com, including the strangest beauty product she’s ever tried #wwdbeauty