Roby to re-introduce Working Families Act

Published 3:00 am Tuesday, January 20, 2015

While President Barack Obama is not set to deliver his State of the Union address until later this evening, Rep. Martha Roby, R-AL, has already made strides to compete with Obama’s proposals and ideas.

Roby first introduced her Working Families Flexibility Act in May 2013, and the House passed Roby’s bill during her first congressional term. Now, Roby said she hopes to be able to reintroduce that same bill.

The act was Roby’s way of attempting to create an equal, and level, playing field for the working middle class of Alabama, when compared to higher-income families.

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“Talk to just about any working mom and dad and they’ll tell you they need more time,” Roby said. “They need just one more hour in the day to be able to take care of responsibilities and make life work. We can’t legislate another hour in the day, but we can help working Americans better balance their time by removing unnecessary federal restrictions on comp time in the private sector.”

Following Roby’s previous introduction of her Working Families Flexibility Act, a Senate companion bill was introduced by Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, but the bill failed to receive consideration during last term.

Roby and Lee again are working together in an effort to re-introduce the proposal as soon as this week.

Roby may either be disappointed or pleased as Obama lays out his hopes and aspirations for the upcoming year during his addressing of the country.

Several of Obama’s hinted-to talking points have included tax hikes for the wealthy, an increase in paid family leave, tax credits for working couples, tax credits for pre-school-aged children and expanding earning income tax credits for lower-income workers and families.

With the Working Families Flexibility Act, Roby said she feels federal regulations and mandates are not the answer the government should be giving to the question middle-class Americans are posing.

“We need to get Washington out of the way for how people use their time,” Roby said. “Employers are drowning in enough red tape as it is, and workers have seen their hours reduced thanks to this Administration’s attempt to dictate how the workplace operates.”

“The Working Families Flexibility Act is a realistic approach to offering employees more choices with their time at work and more balance with the demands of family life. ‘Comp time’ allows employers and employees to work together to see what fits, rather than having the federal government decide.”

Under Roby and Lee’s bill, working mothers and fathers would be able to have the option to use an hour of overtime he or she earned as paid “time and a half” off work instead of “time and a half” cash, if that’s what they would prefer.

No business owner would be forced to offer paid time off, and no worker would be forced to take paid time off under the bill.