I give Republicans a "B" for effort, but it does fall a bit short, and puts too much power in the hands of employers. So, I amended the legislation to a form which may garner far more Democratic support.
Please, read, and give feedback.
Jamie Herrera-Beutler sent an email with this issue attached to her newsletter so I responded to her with some modifications that would make the law far more palatable:
Dear Ms. Herrera-Beutler,
As a resident of the 3rd district, I've been following the legislation, titled H.R. 1406. it's an idea that has merit, but I believe could use some tweaking.
Democrats oppose the bill because it leaves the decisions to allow time of in the hands of the Employer, and does not compensate the employees for any of the time worked over 40 hours, so I suggest this compromise that perhaps you could suggest as an Amendment.
Amend the text in Section 2(1)(A)Compensantory Time Off, from:
***"An employee may receive, in accordance with this subsection and in lieu of monetary overtime compensation, compensatory time off at a rate not less than one and one-half hours for each hour of employment for which overtime compensation is required by this section.***
to the following text:
***"An employee may receive, in accordance with this subsection and in lieu of "PAYING THE OVERTIME PORTION OF THE EMPLOYEE'S OVERTIME PAY, OR 0.5 TIMES THE RATE OF THE EMPLOYEE'S BASE PAY, compensatory time off at a rate not less than ONE HALF OF THE EMPLOYEE'S BASE PAY for each hour of employment for which overtime compensation is required by this section."***
Then in Section 2, instead of:
***No employee may receive or agree to receive compensatory time off under this subsection unless the employee has worked at least 1,000 hours for the employee’s employer during a period of continuous employment with the employer in the 12-month period before the date of agreement or receipt of compensatory time off.***
Amend the text of this section to:
***No employee may receive or agree to receive compensatory time off under this subsection unless the employee has BEEN EMPLOYED FOR A 90-DAY PERIOD AFTER THE INITIAL HIRE DATE, OR 480 hours for the employee’s employer during a period of continuous employment. (REMOVE)with the employer in the 12-month period before the date of agreement or receipt of compensatory time off.(/REMOVE)
Amend Section 2(4) by adding:
***C) Employees who use their compensatory time off for medical reasons may not be terminated, retaliated, or sanctioned against for the use of their compensatory time off with the exception of consideration related to promotions or company advancement. Employers may request written evidence of illness from a licensed medical provider if the time the employee is absent exceeds seven (7) scheduled work days. The seven (7) day period does not include days that are not explicitly scheduled in advanced with the exception of employees who are considered "on-call".
C(1) Medical Reasons is defined as any ailment or personal status which may inhibit the optimal performance or aggravate an existing injury, condition, or chronic medical problem. Such cases where the employee's absence exceeds three scheduled days, the employer has the right to request medical evidence of the condition from a medical professional.
C(2) Employees who refuse to produce a notice from their healthcare provider of their condition, given a reasonable amount of time, defined as 7 (seven) days, to obtain such proof, the employee may be subject to dismissal at the discretion of the employee's employer.***
Amend Section 2(7)(B):
(ADD)...except in cases of illness or illness of a close relative legally requiring the care of the employee, and except in cases of an emergency such as injury, death, or other similar circumstance.(/ADD)
(ADD) (B)(i) Employees fraudulently reporting illness or Emergency circumstances to their employer are subject to dismissal without notice by the employer.(/ADD)
Amend Section 3: REMEDIES:
2(f) An employer which violates section 7(s)(4) SHALL BE APPLIED A FINE OF NO LESS THAN $20,000 AND WILL BE liable to the employee affected in the amount of 3 (THREE) TIMES the rate of compensation (determined in accordance with section 7(s)(6)(A)) for each hour of compensatory time accrued by the employee and in an additional equal amount as liquidated damages reduced by the amount of such rate of compensation for each hour of compensatory time used by such employee.’.
AMEND TO CHANGE SEC. 4 TO SEC. 5
INSERT SEC 4: ENFORCEMENT
(1) The Department of Labor is hereby allocated $300 million in funds to create enforcement mechanisms among the several states, in which the state where the office or agency resides will staff the office with sufficient resources to carry out the following duties in addition to block grants to those states to fund the salaries and benefits of those employees as required by each state to staff and operate those agencies’ needs. If such agencies already exist within those states, the block grants may be used to augment those agencies as the states see fit as necessary and required.
(A) Enforcement of this act by way of an anonymous complaint system to ensure anonymity.
(B) Dispute resolution by way of either binding arbitration or representation of the employee in civil court for the recovering of lost wages and overtime compensation that has accrued.
(C) Regulatory oversight of the businesses to ensure compliance with the mandates of this legislation, up to and including record audits, employee interviews to ensure regulations regarding intimidation, and education and cooperation with the employer to maximize compliance success through healthy working relationships.