March 17, 2021
Dear Members of Congress,
Americans want people to be able to take time off from work when they need it without facing financial hardship. One simple but important way to achieve this goal would be by passing the Working Families Flexibility Act to give workers more options and more control over how they receive compensation.
Americans—particularly women—know that compensation comes in different forms. Not all workers prefer extra pay for working overtime. Many would prefer additional time off, especially when they are planning to have or adopt a baby, or have a family member who needs care. More people will be able to act on this preference once the Working Families Flexibility Act takes effect. This bill amends the woefully out-of-date, Depression-era Fair Labor Standards Act, to allow employers and workers to voluntarily agree to 1.5 hours of compensatory time for every hour of overtime worked, instead of 1.5 times pay for that additional hour.
That’s an option that public sector employees have enjoyed for decades. It’s past time to give that additional flexibility to private-sector workers. This flexibility will help working parents, working students, those caring for an aging parent, and the millions of other workers who are trying to balance responsibilities both on and off the job. While the vast majority of full-time workers in the U.S. have access to some form of paid time off following the birth or adoption of a child, there are still many workers who do not receive paid parental leave through their employers and can face hardship as a result. We all recognize that we must help workers who lack paid parental leave, and this legislation can help to achieve that goal because it would allow workers to earn time off by working overtime.
Independent Women’s Voice, a group dedicated to fighting for policies that aren’t just well intended, but actually enhance people’s freedom, choices, and well-being, is proud to support the Working Families Act, and applauds Rep. Mary Miller for championing this bill. We urge other members of Congress to support this common-sense legislation to give more workers the flexibility they need and deserve.
Hadley Heath Manning
Director of Policy
Independent Women’s Voice