Skip to main content

Silhouetted figure climbing pyramid of clocks
The mountain just got taller
In 1938 President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed into law one of the most important pieces of legislation concerning American labor, the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). This act established the minimum wage, overtime pay, barred children under 18 from doing dangerous work and barred children under 16 from working during school hours. Interestingly enough when the bill was first proposed in 1932 by Senator Hugo Black of Alabama, it contained language that would have provided for a 30-hour week instead of a 40-hour week.

American labor made a great deal of progress during the first 36 years of the FLSA. Then, during the Reagan administration workers started to lose rights (The list of major changes, with links, to the FLSA is below the fold). The last 28 years have not been kind to the American worker, starting in 1985 when state and local governments were allowed to offer comp time instead of overtime to public servants. In 1986 if you worked for a defense contractor you likely lost the right to overtime pay. In 1989 if you were below 20 years of age your labor was deemed as not worth as much as someone over 20, at least for your first 90 days on the job. In 1996 tipped employees were tied to a wage of $2.13 an hour, a minimum that has not increased in 17 years. In 2004 many supervisory positions were reclassified as exempt, taking away overtime pay for thousands.

During this time the only real gains for labor were minor adjustments to the minimum wage and nursing mothers were guaranteed break time to express milk.

Today the very foundation to FLSA is under attack with the introduction of H.R. 1406 – Working Families Flexibility Act of 2013. Many of you may know that this bill would amend the FLSA and would effectively eliminate overtime pay for all non-exempt employees. At first glance this bill may not sound so bad, especially with the family friendly name of, “Working Families Flexibility Act.” What it does though is undermine the ability of an employee to earn overtime pay. If you work 44 hours you should be paid your standard wage for 40 hours and time and a half for four hours. Receiving one and a half hours of compensatory time off for every hour of time worked over 40 does not put food on the table. While this idea sounds good on paper I cannot see it working out well for the worker. The employer can pick and choose, based on the needs of the business, when the worker can take compensatory time. Did you work a couple of extra hours last week so you could go to one of your child’s school functions? Sorry, business needs come first.

While this act stands little chance of being signed into law by President Obama it does show, and quite clearly, how beholden the Republican Party is to business interests. Instead of weakening the FLSA, we should be demanding that it be strengthened. Raise the minimum wage, get rid of the archaic separate tipped minimum wage, strengthen overtime rules, create a maximum wage based on the average employee salary, expand the list of non-exempt employees, and maybe if you really want to help families take a serious look at the 30-hour week as Sen. Black originally wanted in 1932.

The detailed list of changes to the FLSA is below the fold.

Over the years the FLSA was amended several times:

1949 – Changed overtime compensation, defined a "regular rate," redefined the term "produced," raised the minimum wage from 40 cents to 75 cents per hour and extended child labor coverage. It also included a few new exemptions for special worker classes.

1955 – Increased minimum wage, to a $1.00 per hour.

1961 – Added another method of determining a type of coverage called enterprise coverage and specified that coverage is automatic for schools, hospitals, nursing homes, or other residential care facilities. Coverage is also automatic for all governmental entities at whatever level of government, no matter how big or small. Coverage does not apply to certain entities that are not organized for a business purpose, such as churches and charitable institutions. The minimum wage wasincreased to $1.25 per hour. What could be considered a wage was specifically defined, and entitlement to sue for back wages was granted.

1963 - Equal Pay Act of 1963 was passed to amend the FLSA and make it illegal to pay workers lower wages strictly on the basis on their sex.

1966 – Expanded coverage to some farm workers and increased the minimum wage to $1.60 per hour in stages and gave state and local government employees coverage for the first time.

1967 – Age Discrimination in Employment Act prohibited employment discrimination against persons forty years of age or older.

1974 – Coverage was expanded to include domestic workers, and other state and local government employees that were not previously covered. Minimum wage was also increased to $2.30 per hour in stages.

1977 – Increased the minimum wage in yearly increments through 1981 to $3.35 an hour. Changes were made involving tipped employees and the tip credit. Partial overtime exemption was repealed in stages for certain hotel, motel, and restaurant employees.

1983 – The The Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act provided migrant and seasonal farm workers with protections concerning pay, working conditions, and work-related conditions, to require farm labor contractors to register with the U.S. Department of Labor, and to assure necessary protections for farm workers, agricultural associations, and agricultural employers.

1985 – Permitted state and local government employers to compensate their employees' overtime hours with paid time away from work (compensatory time or “comp time”) in lieu of overtime pay. It also included modifications to ensure that true volunteer activities were not impeded or discouraged.

1986 – The Department of Defense Authorization Act of 1986 repealed the eight-hour daily overtime requirements on all federal contracts.

1989 – Increased the minimum wage to $4.25 per hour in stages. The distinction between retail and non-retail was eliminated. Construction, laundry and dry cleaning were no longer named as enterprises. Changes were made to the tip credit system. A “training wage” was established at 85% of minimum wage for workers less than 20 years of age and could be paid for up to 90 days under certain conditions.

1996 – Increased the minimum wage to $5.15 an hour; however, the Small Business Job Protection Act of 1996 which provided the minimum-wage increase, also detached tipped employees from future minimum-wage increases. Prior to 1996, tipped employees received 50% of the prevailing minimum wage. The tipped employee minimum wage was set at $2.13 per hour.

2004 – Changes to overtime regulations went into effect, making substantial modifications to the definition of an exempt employee. Low-level working supervisors throughout American industries were reclassified as executives and lost overtime rights.

2007 – Increased the federal minimum wage by an incremental plan, culminating in a minimum wage of $7.25 per hour by July 24, 2009.

2010 - Section 4207 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act amends Section 7 of the FLSA to add that employers shall provide break time for nursing mothers to express milk and that "a place, other than a bathroom, that is shielded from view and free from intrusion from coworkers and the public" should be available for employees to express milk.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Sun May 05, 2013 at 05:59 PM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  Decades of Seat-At-The Sell-Out-Table 'leaders' (10+ / 0-)

    lead to this bullshit. When we workign stiffs haven't been directly sold out by the lying sell out scum of the DLC Blue Dog Turd Way,

    we've been "lead" by diaper pissing cowards unable to make the Joe Liebermans etc etc pay, politically, for their perfidy.

    Confession: from '88 to Howard Dean I supported these lying yuppie f'k sell outs with my votes, and, despite my misgivings, I voted FOR Kerry and 0-sell-0ut & patty murray & cantwell & gregroire & gary locke & ... ugh... I'm to blame for sell out leaders as much as any other peeee-on voter.

    Since 2010 I've actually felt a little better about all the sell outs - just like during the era of crap that Raygun-Cheney pulled - I did NOT vote for 'em! 2010 and 2012 were just about all write ins, when the office was above dog catcher.

    until we working stiffs STOP supporting sell outs with all kinds of fancy degrees, fancy job titles, fancy credentials and fancy paychecks, until we STOP chasing the LOTE LOTE LOTE ball thrown by the powers that be -

    we're gonna keep getting sold out.



    Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look; He thinks too much: such men are dangerous

    by seabos84 on Sun May 05, 2013 at 06:15:23 PM PDT

    •  Well, I seem to recall the 'working stiffs' (0+ / 0-)

      couldn't vote for Regan fast enough. Now, I loath DLC Third-Way politics, but after the 12 years of shellacking inflicted on the Democratic party by white labor I understand how they thought it was the only way to win an election.

      •  you accept sell out math? Lackeys of 1% lie to (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        to screw the 80% of us NOT on their side, and the other 19% of rich pig boot lickers, ass kissers and doormats.

        HOWEVER, we 80% can't hire effective messaging to defeat the lackeys of the 1% cuz ...

        cuz ... we keep hiring the same sell out, yuppie Terry McAulliffee Bob Schrum fucks ... or ... we'll scare the middle and lose!!

        yawn. really - do the math.


        Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look; He thinks too much: such men are dangerous

        by seabos84 on Sun May 05, 2013 at 07:59:26 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  We owned both houses of Congress for 44 of 48 (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        enhydra lutris, NoMoreLies

        years, without serious challenge, until "Third-Way" dipshits threw it all away.

        If you ignore the reason "white labor" is part of the coalition, you can't be surprised when they leave.

        There was a clear choice between making room for Rockefeller Republicans, or keeping working stiffs.  These people have NEVER been able to function inside the same party in American history.

        The choice was made.

        Wash. Judge Tells Cops To Return Man’s Marijuana Or Be Found In Contempt

        by JesseCW on Sun May 05, 2013 at 08:29:56 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I thought card check was the line in the sand (15+ / 0-)

    Or was it cuts to Social Security and Medicare.

    Or will we just keep drawing a new line in the sand every time the Dem party pees in our face on the old one and tells us its raining, again.

    After all, what response CAN we have, other than "thank you sir, may I please have another?"  We're gonna vote GOP instead?  I think not.

    The Dems have labor by the balls.  They can promise us the moon, deliver not a damn thing, and we'll always be back anyway.  They know it, we know it, EVERYONE knows it, so why keep pretending.

  •  And yet again, we see the problem with government (3+ / 0-)

    action and laws in general:

    In the name of protection, they inevitably take away freedom, including the ability to choose what is best for yourself and your family.

    I don't question the willingness of employers to abuse comp time, but it's a shame that nobody seems bright enough to come up with one that puts choice in the hands of workers, or at least balances out the difference.

    I know lots of people who would rather have a little more time than a little more money.  Yes, many workers need the extra money. It's also true that many workers' families could benefit from more time.

    Sad that we must choose one group over the other.

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Sun May 05, 2013 at 06:25:23 PM PDT

    •  you miss the whole point . . . (10+ / 0-)
      it's a shame that nobody seems bright enough to come up with one that puts choice in the hands of workers, or at least balances out the difference.
      Employers want control. The LAST thing they want is worker "choice" or "balance".

      You're a libertarian, aren't you?--I thought you not only knew that but were HAPPY with it. Don't employers own employees for the time they're hired? Do employers give their machine equipment, or a lump of raw material that they paid for, a "choice" or "balance"? Why would their bought-and-paid-for employees be any different?

      •  I'm a libertarian just like you. (0+ / 0-)

        Here's what I find funny:

        You moan that employers don't want worker choice or balance.


        But -- What I see here are supposed friends of workers who are opposed to choice or balance.

        Anything for the workers so long as they don't want anything beyond what you think they should want.

        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

        by dinotrac on Sun May 05, 2013 at 07:30:55 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  um, I'm not a libertarian (6+ / 0-)

          I'm a socialist.

          I do not want "balance".  I want worker control.

        •  So you think this bill is worker friendly? (0+ / 0-)

          If not, then what are you complaining about?

          •  Where or where did I say that bill was worker (0+ / 0-)



            No where.

            In fact, although I could be wrong -- it sure as hell wouldn't be a first -- I don't believe I directly referenced the bill anywhere.

            What I think I said is that it's sad that nobody can figure out how to do comp time in a way that isn't abusive.  Beyond having now doubt, I know for a fact that many workers would welcome more time for their familes, at least on occasion.

            It's sad that we can't figure out something that works for those who just want the hours and the money and for those who would like to have some time for the kids.

            LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

            by dinotrac on Sun May 05, 2013 at 07:37:19 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Okay (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              What I see is people here opposing this particular bill and then you are accusing them of opposing worker's freedom.  I don't see anyone here railing against doing "comp time in a way that isn't abusive" so I don't get what's got you so upset.

              I have an agreement with my boss to take compensatory time instead of overtime so I'm one of those people who'd prefer the time over the money.

              •  Not exactly, but...people tend to get focused on (0+ / 0-)

                one thing and read in that light.

                If you'll follow the thread, others started hurling nastiness my way.  

                Lenny, for example, got upset at this:

                it's a shame that nobody seems bright enough to come up with one that puts choice in the hands of workers, or at least balances out the difference.
                I don't think anything in that sentence says I think the bill is good.  

                LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                by dinotrac on Sun May 05, 2013 at 08:05:57 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  no, dino, the part I got upset about was this: (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Employers want control. The LAST thing they want is worker "choice" or "balance".
                  You're a libertarian, aren't you?--I thought you not only knew that but were HAPPY with it. Don't employers own employees for the time they're hired? Do employers give their machine equipment, or a lump of raw material that they paid for, a "choice" or "balance"? Why would their bought-and-paid-for employees be any different?
                  Sorry my point---that we can't have "balance" because the owners don't WANT balance, they want CONTROL, and you libertarians LIKE that--went right by you as you were pretending not to be a libertarian this week.
        •  Really? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          That's a big change form last week when you were an " unapologetic conservative".

          "What could BPossibly go wrong??" -RLMiller "God is just pretend." - eru

          by nosleep4u on Sun May 05, 2013 at 07:50:48 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  E-n-g-l-i-s-h. It matters. (0+ / 0-)

            Just like progressive does not equal communist (or, at least, I do not believe that it doesn't), conservative does not equal libertarian.

            Please forgive me if I'm wrong, but I like to give people credit for being at least a little bit smarter than that.

            LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

            by dinotrac on Mon May 06, 2013 at 01:56:15 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Because, gawd forbid (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dirtandiron, DontTaseMeBro

      annual leave is socialism.

      What are you doing to fight the dangerous and counterproductive error of treating dirtbag terrorist criminals as though they were comic book supervillains? I can't believe we still have to argue this shit, let alone on Daily Kos.

      by happymisanthropy on Sun May 05, 2013 at 06:53:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Seriously? That's the best you can do? (0+ / 0-)

        How dare workers want any freedom?
        How dare anybody value something differently from the way you think they should value it?

        Hed Dad -- you had better not want to take your kid to the museum.

        That's wrong because I know what workers are allowed to want and that ain't it.

        So -- I'll try to ridicule a point that I don't remotely understand because, well, I don't understand it any better than I understand the fact that workers are human beings, not cogs.

        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

        by dinotrac on Sun May 05, 2013 at 07:33:20 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Annual Leave is Frequently Blocked (6+ / 0-)

        by systematicly creating situational conditions precluding the utilization of annual leave.

        "Sorry, you'll have to postpone your scheduled vacation.  There's too much to do right now."

        If your lucky you don't work for a firm with a use it or loose it policy and at least get paid for your annual vacation time.

        •  and it would be different (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          with comp time?

          What are you doing to fight the dangerous and counterproductive error of treating dirtbag terrorist criminals as though they were comic book supervillains? I can't believe we still have to argue this shit, let alone on Daily Kos.

          by happymisanthropy on Sun May 05, 2013 at 09:02:53 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  It converts overtime pay, (0+ / 0-)

            which these kinds of shenanigans can't be pulled with, with more leave - which the employer can use to dick you over.

            "Violence never requires translation, but it often causes deafness." - Bareesh the Hutt.

            by Australian2 on Mon May 06, 2013 at 03:52:34 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  If I'm understanding you correctly, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      what you're saying is why can't we let the worker decide whether they want to, 1/ be paid time-and-a-half for overtime worked, or 2/ get comp time for overtime worked.

      I think that would be a great way to do it. And I think that any employer who doesn't want to give their workers the choice is, basically, just hoping that they can find a way to screw their workers over and get some labor for free.

      I know I'm not a Libertarian and, for the life of me, I don't know why Lenny Flank is attacking you over your post (unless I'm totally missing your point). You two must have some history on here that I'm unaware of.

      •  Something along those lines. (0+ / 0-)

        It may be that there really is no way to do that without exposing workers to more abuse, but...we have abusive employers now.  Hell, forced overtime is pretty abusive.

        As to Lenny, well, Lenny is Lenny.  Not to worry.

        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

        by dinotrac on Mon May 06, 2013 at 02:05:28 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  A very neat idea. The problem is that (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        employers will "encourage" workers to choose the second, and then make it hard for them to take leave-time.

        In practical terms, the first option is not available thanks to the predatory nature of America's rentier classes.

        "Violence never requires translation, but it often causes deafness." - Bareesh the Hutt.

        by Australian2 on Mon May 06, 2013 at 04:13:02 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  One way to deal with that is to require payment (0+ / 0-)

          for hours that haven't been used by the end of the year, the quarter, something.

          More specifically, hours that amount to time and a half.

          I still think it's too bad that we must choose to screw workers in order to (try to ) keep employers from screwing workers.

          LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

          by dinotrac on Mon May 06, 2013 at 11:58:02 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Actually, now there is a new "student wage" (17+ / 0-)

    of $0.  All those "unpaid internships" that seem to be necessary to build up one's resume.

    The Dept of Labor is supposed to keep that sort of abuse in check, but they don' companies exploit the "loophole" more and more.  Companies are bold enough to advertise openly that people will be doing an "internship" for what is clearly just a regular "pay" job that they think they can get away with not paying for.

    Overtime is huge for those who still have it.  But are there any lobbyists to protect it?

  •  I'd want Richard Trumka to run for President (6+ / 0-)

    Even though he has no chance of winning, he's personable, articulate, and can represent our interests with force, passion, logic, and reason. It would be great to have his voice on the stage during the primary debates.

    “Americans are fighters. We're tough, resourceful and creative, and if we have the chance to fight on a level playing field, where everyone pays a fair share and everyone has a real shot, then no one - no one - can stop us. ”-- Elizabeth Warren

    by Positronicus on Sun May 05, 2013 at 06:32:05 PM PDT

  •  Workers will get screwed overtime pay (25+ / 0-)

    and no comp time taken because they will be afraid to give their employer a reason to lay them off or fire them.  Who would most employers be inclined to keep...someone who takes comp time or someone who does not?.  I know people who are afraid to take vacation time let alone claim the right to comp time.

    Robber Baron "ReTHUGisms": John D. Rockefeller -"The way to make money is to buy when blood is running in the streets"; Jay Gould -"I can hire one half of the working class to kill the other half."

    by ranton on Sun May 05, 2013 at 06:35:09 PM PDT

  •  Your links aren't working (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    "You can't run a country by a book of religion. Dumb all over, a little ugly on the side." Frank Zappa

    by Uosdwis on Sun May 05, 2013 at 06:54:15 PM PDT

  •  Overtime is the good stuff (14+ / 0-)

    I worked at a glove factory for around ten years. This was during the early 90s, the last days of people leaving high school and being able to have a decent career in manufacturing. Mine ended in 2001 when an Australian corporation bought out the business, laid us all off, and shipped the machines to Reynosa, Juarez, and Sri Lanka. But I digress.

    The median wage was probably about $8 per hour. For people without a college education and with the low costs of living in a semi-rural area, this was good money. It was paycheck-to-paycheck money, but again, with a relatively low cost of living and a really good insurance plan, you could live a good and happy life. There was also opportunity for advancement. When I left, er, was let go, I was making closer to $12 per hour. But for the bulk of my time and the bulk of the employees, $8 was about it.

    Now the mathematically inclined who are reading this, you are probably saying, wait, eight bucks and hour times forty hours a week, after taxes, that's less than $300 a week. Your annual bring home pay comes out to $12,000 a year. And that gets to the heart of the matter.

    I would say 50% of the time I was there we worked 6 days a week. About 40% of the time, seven days a week, and 10% five days or less. So two days a week, thanks to overtime, you made $12 an hour.

    This turns a $300 week into a $500 week. That's 2/3 of a five day paycheck made in just two shifts. Those extra two days a week would turn $12,000 a year into close to $20,000. If your spouse also worked at the factory (a common occurrence), $24,000 turns into almost $40,000.

    In our place in the world at that time, that was f-you money. That was upgrade from one good car and a beater to two good cars. That was upgrade the appliances and get the expanded cable package money.

    All because of overtime. The good stuff. Trading that for an hour and a half of regular paid time off? No way. I cannot imagine any person I worked with going for such obvious bullshit.

    Overtime is a life-changer for millions of people. A literal, tangible life-changer. While I do see the benefits of flex-time and similar programs, implementing them at the cost of overtime is not a fair trade. Not even close.

  •  If there is a choice (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    comp time can be a good thing. I recently retired from the University of California system. We had a choice of overtime or comp time. We could also accumulate hours and them cash them in when ever we wanted. That way if you opted for the time off and you suddenly needed the money you had it. As for taking the comp time off, in over 15 years, my requests were never denied. Using comp time I could get an extra two or three weeks a year off. In my case I wanted the time off more than the money and I loved it. It would all depend on the way the law is written if it's a good or bad thing.

    •  It's written by conservatives (7+ / 0-)

      So you know it's another POS bill.  It's just another assault on workers, plain and simple.

    •  However, expect quite a few companies to switch (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      The Nose

      to a comp time only system and make it nearly impossible to use with all sorts of restrictions like you can only take 15 minutes of comp time per day and only twice a week.

      You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

      by Throw The Bums Out on Mon May 06, 2013 at 06:43:02 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  You could never pass a law (0+ / 0-)

      that allowed the employee to take the hours when they wanted to. No one is going to take away the employer's discretion about when to allow time off.

      My experience with comp time is different from yours. I saw people made to take it at the convenience of management. Your situation worked out because you had a good employer.

      I was exempt and any comp time I got was due to the benevolence of my bosses. Very little was ever allowed and it was always a day here or there when it suited them.

      I remember one year when all summer vacations were cancelled for people on a big project behind schedule. Spouses, kids, relatives and friends all had plans ruined as well as the employers. The delay was supposed to be until September, but then it was October and then November. Then, in late November during a period when it was pouring rain, they were all told they had to use or lose whatever vacation days couldn't be carried over to the next year, which was most of them. Because holiday coverage was already planned, it meant most of them had to take off the following week or two. So they spent their vacations sitting around the house by themselves in the rain in November while their kids were in school and their spouses and friends at work.

      It's prudent to plan for the worst case and not the best when imagining what employers will do.

      We decided to move the center farther to the right by starting the whole debate from a far-right position to begin with. - Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay

      by denise b on Mon May 06, 2013 at 02:25:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Most people need money more than time (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KJG52, Eric Nelson, NoMoreLies

    and people need to REALLY draw the line.  This is one rock falling after another in this avalanche of union busting.   It is past time to quit being owned.  jake, I don't like making
    excuses and concessions for complete sellouts.   They wouldn't get overtime from me.   After I pulled my shift I would walk.  Period.

    We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

    by Vetwife on Sun May 05, 2013 at 07:23:37 PM PDT

  •  If there is a mandates choice given to employees (0+ / 0-)

    I am all for it.  My husband would gladly take off more time, if given a choice rather than overtime.  Currently he gets one week a year and that includes vacation and sick time.  One week of paid leave.  he would be thrilled to be able to work a few more hours one day and take them off another.

  •  As a teacher, I have used this system many times, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DSPS owl

    in which you have a choice...and I love it.  I enjoy having the time off, when I need it.

  •  fault (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Reagan didn't kill labor without AFL/CIO help.  Allowing the air traffic controllers' picket line to be ignored, rendered them powerless.  If pilots refused to fly under the "unsafe"  conditions, Ronald loses.  Even today, unions can--and don't strike.  Every NYC municipal union is without a contract, and no strikes.  Your readers would be amazed at the going rate for German/French employees--and their numbers of hours worked per week.  We are the new third world.

    Apres Bush, le deluge.

    by melvynny on Sun May 05, 2013 at 07:33:36 PM PDT

  •  I never even thought about it. (0+ / 0-)

    There were times I worked 80 hour weeks while being an hourly worker, and I never even considered that I might actually be owed time and a half for that.  I thought it was nice that my employer let me 'bank' those hours (at 1 for 1) to use as paid time off in other pay periods.  I just didn't even consider the concept of 'overtime'.

  •  Right to work was line in the sand (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ActivistGuy, DSPS owl

    you cannot draw lines in the sand effectively when your underwater so far you cant see the sand...

  •  Should be called the Smoke and Mirrors Act.. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    ..and that's putting it nicely.
    This is what the National parnership for Women & Families has to say about it:

    Quite simply, H.R. 1406 would be a step in the wrong direction. Instead of building on the success of policies such as the FMLA, paid sick days standards and a fair minimum wage which provide workers and their families with the time off and the financial stability they need this “flexibility” bill offers forced choices and false promises.
    This legislation is based on smoke and mirrors. It pretends to offer the time off people need when they need it, but in fact, it is a pay cut for workers without any attendant guarantee of time. It also sets up a dangerous, false dichotomy between time and money when, in fact, working families need both.
    - emphasis added

    H.R. 1406 has been introduced multiple times, in identical form, since the late 1990s. Fortunately for the nation’s workers, it has not become law. That is good news because this bill would undermine the very purposes of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which for 75 years has helped protect the working hours and paychecks of covered employees. The FLSA’s requirement that hourly, non-exempt employees be paid time-and-a-half for every hour of work in excess of 40 hours per week was intended to spread job opportunities to more workers and create disincentives for overwork, giving working women and men the ability to spend time with their loved ones.

    And from AFL-CIO 4/16/2013:
    It pretends to offer the time off people need, when they need it, but in fact, it is a pay cut for workers without any attendant guarantee of time….It is, at best, an empty promise. In truth, it would cause considerably more harm than good…H.R. 1406 would leave workers with neither pay nor time.
    Typical republican lies: flexibilty huh, like right to "right to work" for less - Once again republicans perverting language and just plain lying.

    republican workers need to hear/learn what their own party is doing to them and their loved ones

    Good lookin out - Mark E. Andersen

    •  It won't just be Republicans (0+ / 0-)

      any more than the Iraq War was.  It will be pushed and pushed hard as "pragmatic", "getting things done", the crowning shibboleths (rationalizations)  of the Democratic Party's power centrists, the dominant faction on the national scene.  Further, I wouldn't be as certain as some that the Dems' power centrist president would be likely to veto such a "pro-business" measure.

      Ever get the feeling you've been cheated?

      by ActivistGuy on Sun May 05, 2013 at 08:44:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm certain he won't. (0+ / 0-)

        He'll threaten, and bluster, and issue veto threats and generally talk tough...then quietly sign it into law at midnight the way he did with the "amendment" that gutted the STOCK Act.

        "Violence never requires translation, but it often causes deafness." - Bareesh the Hutt.

        by Australian2 on Mon May 06, 2013 at 04:23:19 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Funny (not really) how these "lines in the sand" (0+ / 0-)

    keep getting kicked full of sand.

    “The probability that we may fail in the struggle ought not to deter us from the support of a cause we believe to be just.” – Abraham Lincoln

    by Sagebrush Bob on Sun May 05, 2013 at 08:19:27 PM PDT

  •  Comp time doesn't pay the sitter for picking (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Yo Bubba, The Nose

    up the kid an hour late 4 days a week.

    Wash. Judge Tells Cops To Return Man’s Marijuana Or Be Found In Contempt

    by JesseCW on Sun May 05, 2013 at 08:27:14 PM PDT

  •  California is still an 8 hour workday (0+ / 0-)

    There was a few months back in the 90s when CA went with the 40 hour week for the first time ever. At our high-tech company, we had flex time. Some guys started working 12 hour days Monday through Wednesday then work a half day on Thursday and go home for the week. Almost no one was there on Friday to fix stuff. Can't have that. The company got rid of flex time after that.

    Wasn't long after that when California went back to the 8 hour workday. I like it. Even now as a business owner. Very few states have the 8 hour day.

    i just baptized andrew breitbart into the church of islam, planned parenthood, the girl scouts and three teachers unions. - @blainecapatch

    by bobinson on Mon May 06, 2013 at 01:48:51 AM PDT

  •  All u.S. citizens should get the minimum wage. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    belinda ridgewood

    Including waiter and waitresses and agricultural workers.

  •  overtime. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    The Nose

    the trick with overtime is that time and a half pay is cheaper than paying health and retirement benefits.  A boss makes money by having 10 employees work an additional 4 hours, compared to what hiring a new worker would cost.  

  •  OT was designed as a kind of tax (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    The Nose

    On employers to encourage hiring. The point was rather than working a person 60 hours or more each week, it would be cheaper to hire more straight time workers. A good way to address the bread lines. And, of course, it works, or worked. Today many employees are forced to put time in off the books to avoid OT. They are so afraid of losing their jobs they don't complain. This happens at big places like Wal Mart and at little shops across the country. My friend's son is a truck mechanic who works 60 or more hours per week, but he is carried on the books as a driver, because drivers are OT exempt. He is afraid to make waves. Welcome to 21st Century USA, where the middle class and working poor race to the bottom.

  •  I don't know anybody who takes all their PTO. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    The Nose

    Things get busy and time off gets pushed out. Plus there's a maximum number of hours of PTO that can be accrued, so even with payouts for untaken leave, this would hose a ton of people.

    -this space for rent-

    by EsnRedshirt on Mon May 06, 2013 at 07:25:07 AM PDT

  •  I already mentioned this in a comment to a prior (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    The Nose

    diary, but unionblue makes the point again--OT is more than just a reward to employees for working a long workweek.  It is a penalty on employers, creating an economic disincentive to work people over 40 hours, and an economic incentive to hire more workers.  It's intended to spread employment.

    To a certain extent this does interfere with employees' "liberty," in that employees who currently would prefer comp time can't get it because of the public policy of spreading employment. That, of course, is what governing is all about--one goal or objective is chosen over another.

    Comp time was permitted, at least in part, in the public sector in the 1985 Amendments because state and local governments had been using it forever.  But the statute and its implementing regulation (29  CFR 553) write in protections for employees:

    1.  employees have to agree to accept comp time in lieu of cash OT (although it can be a condition of employment);

    2.  comp is granted at 1.5 to 1

    3.  there are accrual limits, after which OT is paid in money (240 hours for most employees, 480 for seasonal and emergency response)

    4.  FLSA comp once earned is never lost--no "use it or lose it." If you leave or retire with a balance, it's paid in money at that time.

    5.  Employees must be allowed to take it off within a "reasonable" period of requesting it unless to do so would "unduly" disrupt the agency's activities.

    Such restrictions might make comp time less subject to abuse.  But there are problems even so.  First, as noted, employers in the private sector are more likely to resent employees who take their comp time.  In addition,
    government employers seldom go out of business or file for bankruptcy.  There would have to be a guarantee, perhaps a bond, to ensure that even if the company went belly up the employees would get their comp time.

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site