Sen. Lee Introduces Working Families Flexibility Act

February 4, 2021

WASHINGTON – Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) today introduced the Working Families Flexibility Act, a bill that would give employees more flexibility on how to use their overtime benefits. Sen. Lee was joined by Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), along with eleven of their colleagues.

“For many families, especially those with young children, their most precious commodity is time with each other – and that has never been more challenging to balance with work than during the current pandemic,” said Sen. Lee. “For decades, federal labor laws have unfortunately restricted the way parents and workers can use their time, while giving special exemptions from these laws to government employees. This is unacceptable: the same work-life options available to government employees should be available to private-sector workers as well, especially during these challenging times.”

“Working parents provide for their families, make ends meet, and take care of all the responsibilities that come with maintaining a household,” Sen. Capito said. “Those responsibilities also mean the time spent with their children is all the more important. The Working Families Flexibility Act would lift restrictions on private-sector workers and afford them the same options government workers have when it comes to using their overtime benefits. Now more than ever, moms and dads need the flexibility to maintain this work-life balance at home.”

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 privilege unfairly discriminates against private-sector workers and impedes those employers who want to offer their employees this flexibility to balance work and family obligations.

The Working Families Flexibility Act fixes this disparity by amending the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 to provide employers with the necessary flexibility to allow their employees to choose either the traditional overtime pay or paid time off for any overtime hours worked.

Other cosponsors include: Senators Tim Scott (R-S.C.), James Risch (R-Idaho), John Barasso (R-Wyo.), Mitt Romney (R-Utah), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), John Cornyn (R-Texas), and James Lankford (R-Okla.).