Paying overtime with time off a possibility with new bill

Posted at 9:30 AM, May 08, 2017

More time or more money?  

A bill would change the rules on overtime pay, so how much is your time worth?

When you’re putting in long hours at work, a bill passing through Congress could allow you to be paid in time off.

“It affords employees more flexibility to meet family obligations,” a spokesman for Senator Jeff Flake, a co-sponsor of the bill, told ABC15. “It gives employees the choice of accepting time off instead of a higher wage rate for overtime (hours over 40 per week). The employee must accept it, and employers cannot force it.” 

The bill would allow private companies to offer 1.5 hours of time off in lieu of 1.5 times pay for hourly workers.

Employees who opt in can accrue up to 1,000 hours that must be used within a year.

Critics argue despite language in the bill, employers may pressure employees to choose the "time off" option and defer paying the increased rate. Companies could give 30-day notice and cash out up to 80 hours at once.

“The employer will still retain a lot of control over granting request for the time off,” said Amanda Salvione, attorney with Radix Law. “Just because an employee's accrued this time and goes in to request time off doesn't mean they're going to get it for that day.”

However, Salvione says this could be a good way for employees to take time they otherwise wouldn’t have. If an employee quits or is fired, the employer would be required to pay out of the overtime hours.

The bill has already passed the House and in the hands of the Senate.