Extra cash or time off? Overtime employees may soon have a choice

Extra cash or time off?
Extra cash or time off? Overtime employees may soon have a choice

If you work at a job and are eligible for overtime, changes may be coming your way.

Lawmakers in Washington are looking to change the way overtime workers are compensated.

"There's always times of the year when you need that extra cash," said Kris Gordon, an employee at Community Tire Pros in Phoenix. "But when you have a 50-hour work week all the time, some time off would be nice too."

The U.S. House of Representatives just passed a bill that would require employers give overtime workers the option of taking comp time instead of paying them time and half.

Supporters of the bill claim it would give businesses more flexibility and provide employees with a chance to spend more time with family. Critics argue its just a way to help companies avoid paying overtime.

Valley employment attorney Stephanie Leach said that one of the biggest challenges could be managers trying to juggle when employees work and when they don't.

"If you're trying to minimize OT, and instead of OT you are giving out comp time and you're that busy - when are you going to be able to offer people time to use their comp time," Leach said. "I think it's a benefit to both sides."

The Fair Labor Standards Act is proposing:

  • Comp time be given in a reasonable amount of time
  • Employers can't force employees to take comp time
  • Workers have the final say on how they're compensated
  • Gordon is hoping the bill passes. "That option would really be nice for people," said Gordon.

Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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