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Losing Overtime Pay Family Friendly?

"A Living Wage is Family Friendly" Rich Stevenson

Chabot Says: In 1999, "The Family Friendly Workplace Act" was sponsored by Steve Chabot. Groups who had the interest of hourly workers at heart rightly defeated the bill. Steve does not represent hourly workers. Just recently, in 2003, Steve and others were making another attempt to pass the same bill. The purpose of the bill is too eliminate the costs of overtime for the employer. More profits for the employer at the expense of the hourly worker. The bill had been another attempt to reduce overtime costs to increase corporate profits.


The Problem: As you can see below, the law was a means to eliminate overtime pay paid by employers. The employee would receive just one-hour time off on hours removed from overtime pay hours. The employer gained a saving of one-half hour pay for each overtime hour the employee put aside to save for later use for family time off. The delayed hour of pay was delayed to the week the employee used the hour off. Again, the employer has use of the money for a longer period of time to increase profits.

Various strategies have been plotted over the past several years to eliminate overtime pay from the law or to enable employers to work their employees without having to pay time and one half for hours employees work over 40 hours per week or 8 hours per day. So far, these efforts have been unsuccessful. So far the initiatives in the form of bills and riders on important legislation have not passed. Some have come close. Republicans seem to be the legislators pushing for passage of bills eliminating overtime. Steve Chabot is, of course, a Republican. And I am sure I've seen his vote in favor of eliminating overtime on several occasions with the deceptive claim of providing employee options. (Top of Page)


Deception: As you might suspect, the purpose of bills that hurt workers is well disguised by legislative bill titles that indicate well-intentioned benefits for workers. The bill named above provided the option to take "unexcused leave" in exchange for unpaid accumulated overtime hours. Of course, the employee had to transfer overtime hours worked to a bank of non-overtime hours saved for whatever purpose the employee chose. The hours set aside could not be reclaimed later for pay as overtime. Employees would not have that option under the legislation.

Overtime hours were exchanged at a rate of 1.5 hours pay for 1.0 hour of "unexcused leave." The employer gained 0.5 of a payroll hour for each overtime hour worked and converted to "unexcused leave." The financial benefit was to the employer and the only benefit to the employee was being allowed to take "unexcused leave" at the expense of losing 0.5 of a payroll hour. This bill was not a net benefit for low paid hourly workers.

An additional employer benefit would be hiring fewer people and working those employees over 40 hours without paying time and one half. More production and fewer payroll hours, a great benefit. Fewer employees could do the work with less liability for employee benefits. (Top of Page)

If that bill had passed, employers would have tried to force employees to convert all their overtime hours into "unexcused leave" hours so the employer could greatly reduce his labor costs. Coercive employers would force people to work the long 70-hour workweeks so common in the early 20th century. Employees could take "unexcused leave" only when the employer approved the leave. If the work schedule was not busy, an employee could have "paid" leave to care for sick children and other worthwhile purposes. Or not!

If the work schedule was full, with a marginal number of employees, the employer had the option to not allow a request for "unexcused leave." An employee may never see the benefit until employment termination, and then the employer may file a reorganization bankruptcy to avoid paying the accumulated "unexcused absence" pay of every employee with unpaid hours.

Long hours and less pay are the employee losses offered by congress in this and other proposed "worker benefits" legislation. As usual, the employer benefits with increased profits and a bigger bottom line for investors.

10 hours per day, 7 days per week would again become the standard workweek. In addition, take-home pay would continue to drop. (Top of Page)


Keep Overtime: To protect hourly workers pay you have to vote for someone who personally knows the problems of working for an hourly wage. I worked for hourly pay for twenty-two years up to $23 per hour.

Overtime pay makes low pay with long hours tolerable. Overtime pay protects the 40-hour workweek. More workers are hired to handle the work. More people have work under the current system.

The 2000 Democratic candidate, John Cranley, never mentioned this very important worker issue. He seemed more concerned about living conditions in Central and South America than at home. Overtime and a living wage were not issues supported by either bipartisan candidate, Cranley or Chabot.

 A Living Wage for Forty Hours Work Good Public Policy

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To preserve freedom and our democratic republic we must elect new people to public office, as often as possible, and with as many newly elected private citizens as possible.

Elect "Rich." You win. We all win. Rich is on your ballot for KY District Three Representative to the U.S. Congress on November 06, 2018. You must be proactive in this election campaign to have your voice heard in the U.S. Congress.


Elect nonpartisan independent candidates on your ballot. We all win if you apply term limits in the voting booth to all Incumbent public office holders. Career politicians do harm to our dreams of freedom and a democratic republic. As the years pass, incumbent politicians serve only their political party and other special interests that support their personal political ambitions.


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