Rep. Kristi Noem announced today that she has joined in introducing legislation that will give working parents additional options as they look to balance family and work. The Working Families Flexibility Act of 2013, H.R. 1406, would allow private-sector workers to received paid time off, or “comp time” for overtime hours worked.

“As a working mom, I understand how valuable family time is. I’ve met with many South Dakotans who wish they had more time in their busy days to go to kids’ soccer games or to take their children to the doctor. This bill would provide families more flexibility and the option to make their lives a little less hectic,” said Rep. Noem.

“This legislation will give employees the option of being compensated either with money or with time for the extra hours they work. Government agencies are able to use flexibility to give employees either overtime pay or paid time off and I believe this option should also be available to private sector employers and employees. I’m proud to support this bill, which will eliminate yet another unnecessary law and provide more freedom for employees.”

Originally introduced by Rep. Martha Roby (R-AL), the Working Families Flexibility Act of 2013 will:

• Allow employers to offer employees a choice between cash wages and comp time for overtime hours worked. Employees who want to receive cash wages would continue to do so.

• Protect employees by requiring the employer and the employee to complete a written agreement to use comp time, entered into knowingly and voluntarily by the employee.

• Retain all existing employee protections in current law, including the 40 hour work week and how overtime compensation is accrued. The bill adds additional safeguards for workers to ensure the choice and use of comp time are truly voluntary.

• Allow employees to accrue up to 160 hours of comp time each year. An employer would be required to pay cash wages for any unused time at the end of the year. Workers are free to ‘cash out’ their accrued comp time whenever they choose to do so.

Rep. Noem continues to be an advocate for working families in Congress. In 2012, Rep. Noem was one of thirty recipients of the 2012 Best of Congress Award, which celebrated Noem’s leadership in improving the quality of life for working families. Applicants were judged on their voting record, sponsorship of legislation, constituent casework, and other activities that demonstrate their commitment to improving the lives of working families. Applicants were also asked to submit employment policies and practices within their own offices that support working parents and flexible workplace options.

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