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.
London’s newly opened @designmuseum will look back on the life and work of Azzedine Alaïa in a show that the designer helped to curate before he died of heart failure last month. The retrospective, which Alaïa had worked on with Mark Wilson, chief curator of the @groningermuseum, will look at the impact of his work worldwide. The show, “Azzedine Alaïa: The Couturier,” will run from May 10 to October 7. Read more about the exhibit on WWD.com #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @zefashioninsider)
@Pharrell and his wife Helen Lasichanh were among the stars that came out to celebrate @rimowa’s first pop-up concept shop. The space, which is located on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, draws inspiration from airport luggage carousels and lounge areas – and features the company’s luggage and accessories. If the pop-up is successful it could pave the way for addition temporary shops throughout the world. #wwdfashion (📷: Owen Kolasinski/BFA)
@carineroitfeld celebrated @crfashionbook’s first calendar last night with a dinner party at Spring Place in Manhattan. Photographed by @stevenkleinstudio, the calendar takes on a fitness theme and features @joansmalls, @gigihadid, @danielle_herrington_ – pictured here – and more. “[Carine Roitfeld] wanted me to feel sexy and she wanted me to be myself and feel it out on my own and do what I felt was right,” said Herrington, aka Miss October. #wwdeye
@saintrecords and @virgilabloh last night at @americanexpress’ “A Night With Success Makers” event. “I always bring it back to community because without that I wouldn’t have the courage,” said Knowles when asked how she has gotten where she is now. Read more highlights from their conversation on WWD.com. #wwdeye (📷: @lizdoupnik)
This Just In: Industry sources have told WWD that Anastasia Soare is rumored to be considering selling her beauty business, @anastasiabeverlyhills. According to those sources, Soare has tapped investment bank Imperial Capital to explore sale options for her eponymous beauty brand –– and with at least $340 million in net sales, this would be a big deal. Put in context of other recent transactions for makeup companies, Soare’s price tag could be in the billions if she were to sell the whole thing. #wwdnews #wwdbeauty (📷: @clint_spaulding)
@assouline’s latest book, “The Spirit of Bentley: Be Extraordinary” captures the adventurous attitudes and opulent lifestyles of @bentleymotors’ most creative owners and enthusiasts throughout the U.K. The 292-page hardcover has a section dedicated to showing its team of skilled artisans and photos of its most colorful owners, from George Bamford to designer @alicetemperley, pictured here by Aline Coquelle. #wwdeye
@google released its report on the most popular search terms this year. For fashion brands, the list was led by @gucci, the luxury brand that stunned the market last October when it pledged to stop using fur. Runner ups were @supremenewyork and @fashionnova, along with more established brands like @louisvuitton, @chanelofficial and @ysl. #wwdfashion (📷: @aitorrosasphoto)
In yet another fashion show shuffle, @elleryland is moving its show in sync with the Paris couture calendar — though the brand is still keeping one foot on the city’s ready-to-wear schedule. Their runway show in January will coincide with the launch of a new strategy: designing two main collections each year instead of four, which will then be released in four drops. “As we all know, the system needs to change. We need to show sooner to give time back to artisans and designers to do what they do best — create,” said founder Kym Ellery. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @kukukuba)
@maxmara’s classic 101801 coat was the cornerstone of its pre-fall 2018 collection. The design team expanded the traditional double-breasted, kimono-sleeved style into a trapeze coat, lean belted styles and a peacoat and presented them in monochromatic looks – like the camel one pictured here. #wwdfashion #prefall18 (📷: George Chinsee)