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The Working Families Flexibility Act of 2017

Published:  May 3, 2017

Yesterday, the United States House of Representatives passed a bill that could change the way employees are paid for overtime work.  The Working Families Flexibility Act of 2017 amends the Fair Labor Standards Act by providing employers the option to compensate non-exempt employees in paid time off, in lieu of the standard time-and-a-half wage.  Under the proposed law, an employer would have the option of offering employees one-and-a-half hours of compensatory time off for each overtime hour worked.  The bill requires the employee must voluntarily agree, in writing, to compensatory time off in lieu of overtime pay, and agreeing to this arrangement cannot be a condition of employment.  Additionally, implementation of this option must comply with all the applicable provisions of any collective bargaining agreement for employees represented by a labor organization.

The House bill has already been endorsed by the White House, but it still must pass in the Senate.  Senator Lee of Utah has introduced a similar bill, but the Senate bill is still in committee.  However, employers will want to remember that this bill would only change Federal law.  State overtime compensation laws remain in effect.  If you are based in Massachusetts, you will still have to comply with M.G.L. c. 151, §§ 1A & 1B, which requires employers to pay time-and-a-half for overtime.  Be careful not to run afoul of the overtime requirements in Massachusetts wage and hour law, which carries harsh penalties.

If you have any questions about The Working Families Flexibility Act or the Fair Labor Standards Act, please contact any of the attorneys at Royal, P.C.

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