Congress Debates Flex Time

Foodservice operators and employers in other private sector industries would be allowed to offer their workers the same "family friendly" scheduling flexibility available to federal government employees, under new legislation pending in Congress.

The bill would reform provisions of the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act to permit private sector employers to offer compensatory time off for overtime hours worked, and other flexible scheduling arrangements.

Currently, federal law requires that hourly workers be paid premium wages for hours worked in excess of 40 per week, and it prohibits employees from accepting "comp time" in lieu of that pay.

Flexing their muscle: In addition to dropping those restrictions, the new Family Time and Workplace Flexibility Act would give employees the options of "flexing" their schedules over a two-week period (e.g. by working 10 extra hours one week in order to take 10 hours off the next).

The bill would also allow workers and employers to establish a "flexible credit hour program" under which employees could stockpile overtime hours and take blocks of time off later.



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