House Bill Could Change How Workers Get Compensated for Overtime

House Bill Could Change How Workers Get Compensated for Overtime

For a lot of workers these days, burning the midnight oil seems like more of the norm than the exception. But if you're an hourly or non-exempt employee, at least that means you get some extra padding in your paycheck, thanks to labor laws that require companies to pay you time-and-a-half for overtime.

But what if you got the option to receive additional paid vacation for those extra hours instead? Would you rather have the money or the time off?


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Well, if a bill approved earlier this week by the House of Representatives successfully makes its way through the Senate, you just may have that option. The Working Families Flexibility Act, sponsored by Rep. Martha Roby, R-Ala., proposes amending the Fair Labor Standards Act so that employers can give workers a choice of either cash wages or paid time off for overtime hours worked.

Supporters of the bill say that all the legislation is really doing is providing more workplace flexibility and giving the private sector a choice that public-sector employees already have. They also say the bill protects workers from being coerced into choosing comp time over wages.

Those against the measure, meanwhile, say the law doesn't guarantee that the employee would be in control of when they could take their PTO — and that it gives employers a way out of paying time-and-a-half. Plus, workers who don't currently get paid vacation or sick leave may feel pressured to take time off instead of receiving time-and-a-half pay.

The bill still needs to pass the Senate, but the controversy reflects the age-old dilemma for workers of more pay or better work-life balance. Ultimately, it's a fine line — but here are a few tips for striking a balance when you're already dealing with a crazy work schedule.

RELATED: Will I Be Eligible for Overtime? What the New Department of Labor Rules Could Mean for You


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