OT or PTO?
There's a bill before the congress to give private sector workers like you and I the same kind of choice that people who work for public agencies get.
There are times when the boss tells you that you're going to have to work some overtime. They're required by law to pay you overtime pay, which is usually time and a half. There have been times where my co-workers have said that they'd rather have time off. If you work in the public sector this may already be a choice. But it could soon be coming to the private sector.
A measure that would allow employees in the
private sector to take paid time off, or “comp time,” for overtime accrued is
slated for a vote this afternoon in the U.S. House of Representatives. The
bill, part of a package of legislation that House Majority Leader Eric Cantor
has been promoting, would leave it up to employees to choose whether to take
paid overtime or comp time. Under the measure, comp time would be accrued at
the same rate as overtime pay – time and a half over 40 hours. Employees would
have to enter an agreement with their employer to seek comp time, but the
employee can withdraw from the pact at any time and take the wages in cash.
Proponents say it would bring the private sector in line with public sector
employees, who can take comp time outside of the pay period in which it was
accrued. For example, a public sector employee who accrues 20 hours of overtime
in May can, under law, arrange with their employer plan to take it in another
month. Cantor and other proponents say the bill, dubbed the Working Families
Flexibility Act, would help workers better balance family and work. “It’s very
simple,” Cantor said. “If you’re a working parent, as I am, you know one thing
all of us have in common and that is we need more time. That’s what this bill
will allow. It is a common-sense bill and it puts parents before politics.” But
opponents of the bill note that workers can only use the comp time if it would not
“unduly disrupt” business operations. The National Partnership for Women
and Families said that despite the name, the act sets up “a dangerous false
choice between time and money, when working families really need both.” The
group says lawmakers should focus on public policies to make sure workers have
fair wages and time to care for their families.
I think it's a fantastic idea to put this type of choice in the hands of the employer and the employee. You can take the overtime pay, but if you want to take a day off, it's your choice.