SHRM Encourages Passage of Bill Giving More Employees Access to Comp Time

Apr 11, 2013
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Juanita Phillips
Juanita Phillips

HR executive tells subcommittee that the benefit choice given public employees also would benefit nonexempt workers in private sector

WASHINGTON, April 11, 2013 — With flexible workplaces benefitting both employers and employees, it’s time for Congress to approve legislation giving private-sector nonexempt employees access to comp time, the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) told a U.S. House Education and the Workforce Committee subcommittee hearing today.

“Since comp time has worked well within the public sector at the state and federal level for nearly three decades, it is troubling that Congress has not extended this same benefit to hard-working private-sector employees,” human resources executive Juanita Phillips told the Subcommittee on Workforce Protections.

Speaking on behalf of the 260,000-member SHRM, Phillips voiced strong support for the Working Families Flexibility Act of 2013 (H.R. 1406).

Introduced by Rep. Martha Roby (R-Ala.), the bill would permit private-sector employers to offer employees the choice of taking overtime in cash payments as they do currently or in the form of paid time off — or comp time. The bill includes protections for employees and does not affect the 40-hour workweek or change the way that overtime is calculated (1-½ hours for each hour of overtime worked).

Federal employees have had access to comp time since the 1970s.

Phillips, director of human resources for Intuitive Research and Technology Corporation in Huntsville, Ala., told members of the subcommittee that her employer is a federal government contractor where the company’s nonexempt employees work side-by-side with federal government nonexempt employees. “It is incredibly difficult to explain to my employees why they cannot take comp time, while the government employees they work alongside can.”

SHRM, which has members in every congressional district, supports the bill as one example of public policy that encourages the voluntary adoption of workplace flexibility programs (such as telecommuting, job sharing and compressed work schedules). Today’s diverse workplace demands a flexible approach that meets the needs of employees and their families while providing predictability and stability for employers.

“At its core, workplace flexibility is about improving business results by providing employees with more control over how, when and where work gets done,” Phillips said. “H.R. 1406 would give private-sector nonexempt employees more control by giving them the option of paid time off in lieu of cash wages for overtime hours worked.”

SHRM’s testimony to the subcommittee is available at http://www.shrm.org/Advocacy/Issues/EmploymentandLabor/Documents/041113%20FINAL%20House%20Statement%20Juanita%20Phillips.pdf

MEDIA: For more information or to schedule an interview, contact Kate Kennedy at kate.kennedy@shrm.org and 703-535-6260 and 703-862-5192.

For more information about SHRM’s Recommendations for “21st Century Workplace Flexibility Policy,” visit http://www.shrm.org/Advocacy/Issues/WorkplaceFlexibility/Documents/051209%20FINAL%20WF%20Principles.pdf

SHRM’s online Workplace Flexibility Resource Page is available at http://www.shrm.org/workflex

About the Society for Human Resource Management

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) is the world’s largest association devoted to human resource management. Representing more than 260,000 members in over 140 countries, the Society serves the needs of HR professionals and advances the interests of the HR profession. Founded in 1948, SHRM has more than 575 affiliated chapters within the United States and subsidiary offices in China and India. Visit SHRM Online at shrm.org or follow us on Twitter @SHRMPress.

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