The Deceptively Named ‘Working Families Flexibility Act,’ Passed by the House Today, Is a ‘Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing’ and an Anti-Worker Bill
May 2, 2017
Statement from Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner, CEO and Executive Director of MomsRising.org, a national online and on-the-ground organization of more than 1 million mothers and their families, on the Working Families Flexibility Act’s passage by the U.S. House of Representatives
“Despite its deceptive name, the Working Families Flexibility Act would not offer real flexibility to working families and would instead rob employees of their right to be compensated fairly for extra time they work. This bill is a wolf in sheep’s clothing – and working parents aren’t fooled. The legislation the House passed today is an anti-worker bill. The Senate would be wise to heed the strong and growing opposition to this legislation, including the tens of thousands of MomsRising members who have reached out to their elected officials in opposition to this bill, and reject it out of hand. Working families will suffer if it becomes law.
“It is misleading for proponents to claim that this legislation helps workers by allowing them to accrue paid time off in exchange for working extra hours. H.R. 1180 offers no guarantee that working people would be able to access the comp time they’ve earned (in lieu of overtime pay) when they need it, since employers would be able to veto any request to take time off that will ‘unduly disrupt’ the employer’s business, even for something as urgent as caring for a sick child.
“As if that weren’t bad enough, the bill goes even further in its damage to workers by allowing employers to withhold overtime wages for months. People living paycheck to paycheck can’t afford, and should never be asked, to loan their bosses their hard-earned overtime pay for months at a time. As is often the case, this bill would do the most damage to economically vulnerable people working low-wage hourly jobs, a disproportionate number of whom are the most vulnerable in our society, including low-income families and Black, Latinx, Asian, Native American, and LGBTQ+ communities.
“Our country desperately needs legislation that will make our workplaces more fair and flexible for working families. Rather than construct policy that gives real support to workers, House Republicans have passed a bill that offers nothing more than lip service and fake promises. It would undermine employees’ ability to plan for their future and build predictable work schedules. It would put workers in a bind by forcing them into a false choice between time and money while providing no real guarantee of paid time off.
“Tens of thousands of MomsRising members have reached out to Congress in opposition to this bill. It doesn’t offer flexibility – and it’s not what working families need.”