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One of my preschooler’s favorite jokes: What do you get when you put lipstick on a pig? Answer: A pig.

Why do I bring this up? Because right now, some members of Congress are trying to put lipstick on a pig: They’re introducing a bill called the “Working Families Flexibility Act,” a "comp time" bill which certainly sounds good, but in reality is anything but.  If passed this bill would mean a pay cut for workers and less – not more – workplace flexibility. lipstickpig

What the what?

It’s true. Despite the name, the comp time proposal is neither family friendly or flexible.  What it would do is weaken a 75-year-old overtime law and permit employers to demand more hours from their employees without any guarantee that the comp time employees earn would be available when they need it most.  For example, there is no guarantee that a mother who works extra hours this week will be able to take that time next week if her daughter comes down with the flu or if she needs to attend a parent-teacher conference, or that an expecting mother will be able to use accrued comp time as parental leave when her child is born even if she’s worked enough overtime to save for an extended leave.

Tell Congress: If you really want to help working families, stop wasting time putting lipstick on pigs and focus on passing the Healthy Families Act - which would set an important national standard for paid sick days by allowing people to earn up to seven paid sick days per year. Its passage would be a critical step toward meeting the health and financial needs of working families.

http://action.momsrising.org/sign/Pigs_and_lipstick/

Virtually all employees need time off; people need time away from work to care for their loved ones and themselves. But this proposal is misguided and problematic:

  • Workers who prefer overtime to comp time will see their hours – and their potential to accrue overtime pay – cut because employers will save costs by giving extra hours and shifts to workers who accept comp time in lieu of overtime.
  • Employees who earn comp time have no guarantee that they will be able to use it when they need it, because employers can veto employees’ requests to use accrued comp time anytime they feel the employee’s absence will “unduly disrupt” the employer’s business.
  • Employees who accept comp time are vulnerable to an employers’ unilateral decision to cash the time out even when the employee may be banking the time for a particular purpose, like maternity leave.
  • Employees whose employers go out of business risk losing the value of their comp time. Each year, on average, more than 3 million employees lose their jobs when businesses close.  Even at the peak of the last business cycle (2006-2007), about 600,000 firms, employing 3.4 million workers, went out of business.
  • Employers may begin to see comp time as an alternative to offering vacation or sick time, shifting the cost of accrued time off from employers to employees.

That’s not flexibility. And that is not what working families need.

We need to make sure Congress knows that we don’t want them wasting time putting lipstick on pigs. Instead we need them to focus on passing legislation like the Healthy Families Act: The Healthy Families Act would provides workers the right to earn up to seven paid sick days each year so that mothers and fathers, spouses and partners, sons and daughters can take the time they need, when they need it, to provide the basic care their loved ones need, and to take care of themselves when illness strikes or medical needs arise.

Tell Congress: If you really want to help working families, stop wasting time putting lipstick on pigs and focus on passing the Healthy Families Act - which would set an important national standard for paid sick days by allowing people to earn up to seven paid sick days per year. Its passage would be a critical step toward meeting the health and financial needs of working families.

http://action.momsrising.org/sign/Pigs_and_lipstick/

**Please be sure to share this blogpost others you know that have experiences to share! Use those buttons at the bottom of the post to share on Facebook, Twitter and more.

Together we’re a powerful force for women and families!

P.S.  Have you ever banked comp time – or any time off - and then weren’t allowed to use it when you needed it? Do you want or need the flexibility to choose overtime pay of accruing comp time? Let us know! Sharing your experiences is a powerful way to make sure legislators know the real consequences of this kind of “comp time” policy. Click here: http://www.momsrising.org/member_stories/topic/untitled_844/preview


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