Republicans Want to Replace Workers' Overtime Pay with Time Off

| by Michael Allen
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House Republicans have come up with a plan that would allow companies to offer time off from work instead of paying workers time and a half for overtime, as currently required by the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Rep. Martha Roby (R-AL) is planning to introduce the bill to Congress soon, reports

"This doesn't solve our debt or deficit problem, but this is a bill that as a working mom, I'm proud to carry and say, 'Look, we've got to provide some relief in this economy to working families,'" Rep. Roby told USA Today.

"Too many parents have to weigh whether they can afford to leave work for even half a day to perhaps attend a field trip or to go to a parent-teacher conference," added Eric Cantor (R-VA). "This is the kind of common-sense legislation that should be noncontroversial and moves us in the right direction to help make life work for more families."

Neither Rep. Roby or Rep. Cantor mentioned that companies already have the option of allowing employees to take time off for important dates.

A similar bill to gut overtime pay was proposed by the Republicans in 2003, but it failed.

"In the past, it just gave companies an excuse to pay workers less, and workers aren't clamoring for smaller paychecks," said Aaron Albright, spokesman for Democrats on the Education and the Workforce Committee.

"Based on those proposals, I think it's pretty clear to us that this is a bad deal for working women and families," said Vicki Shabo of the National Partnership for Women and Families. "What it's doing is taking money out of the pockets of workers who need it ... It's really only providing the promise of time to people who've already put in extra time away from families."

Sources: USA Today and