House Republicans Attempt to Change the 40 Hour Work Week

Republicans in the House yesterday began a push for their latest congressional effort: legislation to offer more flexibility to working families who want to spend more time with their children. The bill, H.R 1406, would allow private employees to ask for time off according to bargaining agreements, and includes a controversial caveat known as ‘comp time’ that allows overtime to be paid on an hourly basis. This bill would modify the existing Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) of 1938 which requires that overtime must always be paid at least half-again the time worked.

House Republicans justify their bill by citing America’s recent rise in families that have both parents working. According to Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tennessee), this was once 37% of families in 1975 but now stands just under 60%. However, a 2012 Bureau of Labor Statistics study found only 47.4% of families had both parents working.

House Democrats emphasize the risk to employees that are either unwilling or unable to take time off from their jobs. Rep. Sheila Jackson (D-Texas) said today on the floor that there would be a “substantial reduction in take-home pay… employees would be paid nothing more for overtime work [and] there will be preferential treatment of workers who take ‘compensated’ pay instead of their normal wages.”

While protesting the bill, Rep. Bill Courtney (D-Connecticut) took a page out of Fmr. Governor Romney’s binder to invite a parade of seemingly every female Democrat he could find to oppose the H.R. 1406. In their opinion, the change would disproportionately target women.


  1. May 9, 2013  9:26 pm by thatmrgguy Reply

    People don't realize that overtime pay is taxed at a higher rate than regular pay. I've always liked the idea of working extra hours at regular pay and getting compensatory time off with pay. And generally, you can use the comp time whenever you want

    • May 13, 2013  11:23 pm by Buzzramjet Reply

      NO you cannot take it whenever you want. Read the bill. It is up to the employer to say when you can. It protects the employer and hurts the workers. Name a bill republicans have ever introduced that was for the workers and not the corporations.

  2. May 11, 2013  1:01 am by Don Reply

    Are the Republicans trying to destroy everything before they are voted out in 2014?

  3. May 12, 2013  12:49 am by Victor Reply

    Stop listening to the spin and read the bill; it's only 10 pages. Not
    like that other monstrosity.

  4. May 13, 2013  11:25 pm by Buzzramjet Reply

    Uh as I mentioned name a bill that republicans have EVER introduced that was anything but for the employers and not the employees and yes I have read the bill. The worker has NO protections. Not one,especially in so called "right to work" states that offer not a single protection for workers. You can be fired for any reason. All the employer has to say it "you're fired" and he doesn't have to give a reason.

    • May 14, 2013  10:11 am by thatmrgguy Reply

      You know what "protection for the workers" means, right? It means even if you're the worst worker in the company, you still keep your job even if a newer guy is better and faster, the new guy gets the axe.

  5. May 14, 2013  2:57 pm by dean Reply

    overtime is withheld at a higher rate not taxed higher. and if you don't like "protection for workers " see Bangladesh.