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CD027: Overtime

After a health care rant, we look at H.R. 1406, a bill that would have allowed workers to get vacation time instead of cash for their overtime. It’s a bill I’d actually like to see survive.

Links to Information in this Episode

Previous episode CD026 about H.R. 1549

Congressional Dish summary of H.R. 1549 “Help Sick Americans Now Act”

Music: Overtime by Man Born Blind

Congressional Dish summary of H.R. 1406 “Working Families Flexibility Act of 2013”

Status and text of H.R. 1406

Music: Playing Games by Country Drive (found on Music Alley by mevio)

Congressional Dish summary of H.R. 807 “Full Faith and Credit Act”

Status and text of H.R. 807

Music: Democracy is Dangerous by Thomas Pace (found on Music Alley by mevio)

Representatives Quoted in Order of Appearance

Repeal ObamaCare montage

Rep. George Miller of California

“Interest-free loan” montage

Rep. Joe Courtney of Connecticut
Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz

8 thoughts on “CD027: Overtime

  1. Justin

    In regards to H.R. 1406 one should take a deep breath. I work for the Feds and we have this exact option. My boss is the Federal Govt and this time off option works well especially when you don’t have any vacation time left or haven’t earned any yet. The private sector is notoriously stingy with paid time off and this gives the employee the option to take time off in lieu of the cash. It’s still a choice you can decline.

  2. Brendan

    “The bill would expire in 5 years. If the workers end up hating it, or if its routinely abused it would go away without anyone doing anything in 5 years”

    Seeing as there is a possibility of abuse, I’m not sure how anyone would like this bill, unless of course you’re part of corporate America or follow the Rebuplican party devoutly

    If its not broke, don’t fix it.

    1. Jennifer Briney Post author

      Hi Brendan,

      Problem with that theory is that I’m not a part of corporate America and no one could ever accuse me of being devout to any party, yet I like this bill. I understand that people fear abuse but a close examination of the bill eased my fears. What specifically are you worried about?

      That said though, “If its not broke, don’t fix it”: Totally! We have way more important issues to address.

      1. Dana

        I was told that “compensatory time off” means you get paid while you are off. It doesn’t make sense to me to pay someone a regular wage for working overtime, then give them time and a half off (one and a half times the overtime they worked) and then pay them regular wages for that. I haven’t eaten a lot today and my brain’s kinda wonky but doesn’t that math just work out wrong? Wouldn’t it be cheaper to just pay the time and a half? What’s the catch here? And if it’s such a wonderful bill, why do worker-hating Republicans and corporations support it?

        Just pay the freaking overtime already! Because the boss man doesn’t have to let you have the time off if he thinks it will interfere with his operation, even if you had previously agreed to it–so much for worker flexibility!

        1. Jennifer Briney Post author

          Yes, I think it could be cheaper to just pay the time and a half because if you give your employees a raise, you would have to pay them the higher rate on January 31st. The math seems to add up in favor of the workers or break even, which is why I’m OK with the bill.

          I’m not sure why the corporations are supporting it, but I suspect it’s because this bill leaves much of the power in the hands of the bosses since they will get to approve when the time off is taken, as you pointed out. Bosses will get their workers to work overtime when needed and let them take off time when it’s slow anyway. I can see why that would make workers nervous but I don’t see any other option. How could a business function if they were required by law to give their workers time off any time they want it?

      2. Brendan

        After I sent my post I realized it may have sounded like I was branding you as a Republican or part of Corporate America. That was not my intent and I apologize for that.

        My main concern is the abuse of power. It is Corporate America after all. History has shown that if a company wants to be corrupt a couple laws will not deter them from doing so…and if found guilty, will only receive a slap on the wrist

        At the very least this is the corporations trying to receive an interest free loan from their employees. Not on my dime.

        You also mentioned about receiving a raise and that translating into more money. Unfortunately raises aren’t just handed out like candy on Halloween.

        Another concern is if a company goes belly up, how does the employee recoup that money? I know the law states that the company must pay the employee but if that company is bankrupt, where does that money come from? You can’t take something from nothing. Pretty simple math.

        “The math seems to add up in favor of the workers or break even, which is why I’m OK with the bill.”…that is exactly why this bill seems fishy. I for one don’t believe the Republicans will pass a bill that will favor the employees over the corporations. No chance.

        There is absolutely nothing wrong with the current system and is why this bill wreaks to me of corporations trying to pull a fast one on Joe Public

        1. Brendan

          I thank you for the response back Jennifer and for the record, I too do not pledge allegiance to either political party. I leave rooting for teams to organized sports. : )

          1. Jennifer Briney Post author

            That’s what I like to hear! Go Red Sox 😉

            As for the bill, I’m just not that worried about it. As Justin just pointed out, the Federal workforce has this option and we now have an example of someone who has it and likes it. That said though, I do trust the Federal government as an employer more than corporations.

            The protections in the bill satisfied me and not you. I guess we’ll just have to agree to disagree on this one. Ultimately, the bill stands almost no chance of becoming law so what’s not broke won’t be fixed.

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