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I have received some great feedback about the Working Families Flexibility Act since I introduced it last week.  Since government employees already enjoy the benefits that this law would create, there were those from the public sector who wanted to share their experience with these benefits:

Love, love, love this!! I think one should be able to save more than 160hrs. My brother (state employee) had 3 months of comp/sick time together which saved his family when he got cancer. It took about 3 months to get through treatment. Thank u for doing this!

-Carolyn A., Oregon

I like your working family flexibility legislation. I was lucky enough to work where I could take comp time, and even though they didn't treat it as overtime at 1 1/2 hrs per hours worked, it still made it possible for me to work and raise my family.

-Diann M.

I have never understood in my 35 years of Human Resources and now small business owner, why public employees can utilize comp time off and private cannot. Every department of labor law should apply equally to public and private sector.

Sharon O., Utah

As this is a new proposal, there were those who just had more questions about how it would work.

Hi Senator Lee, I am totally for this. Sometimes time is worth more than the pay. I do have one question. Is there any stipulation on how you use that time. For example, can you take a week, two weeks or a month (160 hours) at one time? Can your employer take any action against you i.e. layoff, firing or cutting your hours back if you do? I can see that this also could be on an individual company basis.

-Christina G., Nevada

That’s a great question.  How comp time is handled will be entirely decided by employers and employees. The purpose of the law is to give both companies and workers flexibility in determining the best use of comp time. The law requires employers and employees to establish a written agreement outlining the comp time options and to allow each employee to voluntarily choose the option that best fits his or her needs.  Once we eliminate the restrictions that are preventing this flexibility, employers will be free to develop innovative and competitive plans to attract and retain the best employees for their business.

While I think this is a great plan that provides much-needed flexibility to employees, this plan also provides flexibility for employers:

I have a small business with less than 15 employees, this would kill my business. Small businesses must be exempt!

Ward W., Arizona

I agree with Ward.  If a small business doesn't think offering comp time is a good fit for their business, then they can continue to choose to offer just overtime pay to their employees.

I also received feedback from some who were concerned that this represented a new government intrusion into the opearations of small businesses.  It is worth recognizing that for many individuals, especially working parents, time is sometimes more valuable than money. Sadly, under current law, the only option available to private-sector employees who work overtime is to receive monetary compensation at 1 1/2 times their normal pay. In 1978, Congress passed the “Federal Employee Flexible and Compressed Work Schedule Act” providing Federal, State, and local governments the ability to give their employees a choice between overtime pay or paid time off for working overtime hours.  This legal disparity unfairly discriminates against private-sector employees and impedes those employers who want to offer their employees this flexibility to balance work and family obligations.  So, in effect, this law is an attempt to remove existing restrictions as opposed to adding new restrictions.
 
I appreciate everyone who has taken the time to leave me their feedback on this proposal.  If you would like to leave your feedback, click here:

http://www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/working-family-flexibility

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