Overtime or Comp Time?

By Beacon Staff
By John Fuller

Republicans in Congress are trying to pass legislation that would permit the private sector to allow employers to grant comp time instead of paying overtime as the public sector has done for many years.

Just think about that statement for a minute. How ludicrous is the concept that private sector employers are not permitted to be flexible in how they reward their employees that work more than 40 hours per week?

Federal and state agencies are permitted to offer comp time, but private employers are not. That is a classic example of the liberal mind at work – placing onerous regulations and restrictions on the sector of the economy that pays the bills, while being exempt themselves.

Because of liberals, the new norm is less than 2 percent GDP instead of 4 percent and an average of 8 percent unemployment instead of below 5 percent.

Simply applying the same working regulations to the private sector that the public sector utilizes would be one less onerous burden freeing the private sector to create more jobs.

Liberals are always whining about the necessity of equality in all things.

It is time for some equality in this issue. Urge Democrats to vote for equality in comp time!

By Joe Carbonari

Undoubtedly, giving private employers the freedom to offer compensatory time off in lieu of overtime pay would be good for employers and making compensatory time an available choice for workers would be good for labor. But if the legislation is not crafted carefully, it could turn out badly for our workers, our employers, or both.

Workers need protection from employers who might try to intimidate them, for instance, into taking comp time instead of time-and-a-half pay and then, for instance, severely limit when that comp time could be taken.

Employers, on the other hand, need protection from employees who might take comp time during a critical production period. Work-to-rule can be a very nasty tool.

In a perfect world, people would talk things through. In our world, that seldom happens, even when we know each other well. In our larger organizations it happens hardly at all.

That’s why worker protections need to be comprehensive, unambiguous, and enforceable.

Yes, let’s extend this choice, this freedom, to our private sector. It has the potential to benefit workers, employers and society as a whole.

A happier workplace, a more productive economy – it seems like a win-win deal, unless, of course, something nasty lies hidden in the details.

Let’s be careful, let’s not sign until all the fine print’s been read.

Send feedback to twoforthought@flatheadbeacon.com.

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