Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Passed House amended (03/19/1997)

Working Families Flexibility Act of 1997 - Amends the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 to provide for compensatory time for all employees.

Allows an employee to receive, 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 under the Act.

Allows an employer to provide such compensatory time only: (1) pursuant to a collective bargaining agreement with employee representatives, or, where there is no certified or recognized labor organization, pursuant to an agreement with the employee if such agreement was entered into knowingly and voluntarily; and (2) if a private employee has affirmed, in a verifiable statement, the choice of receiving compensatory time in lieu of overtime pay.

Sets forth special rules relating to public employees.

Prohibits employer coercion of employees for the purpose of: (1) interfering with their right to choose whether to request compensatory time off in lieu of overtime pay; or (2) requiring them to use compensatory time.

Requires an employee to have worked at least 1,000 hours of continuous employment with the employer in the 12 months before the date of agreement or receipt of compensatory time off.

Limits to not more than 160 hours the amount of compensatory time an employee may accrue. Requires payment of compensation at the prescribed regular rate for: (1) compensatory time accrued but not used in a calendar year or other designated 12-month period; and (2) unused compensatory time upon termination of employment.

Allows an employer to provide monetary compensation at any time after giving the employee at least 30 days notice, at the prescribed regular rate, for an employee's unused compensatory time in excess of 80 hours. Allows an employee to request in writing that monetary compensation be provided at the prescribed regular rate, at any time, for all compensatory time accrued and not yet used.

Requires employers to permit employees to use compensatory time within a reasonable period after employees request its use, if such use does not unduly disrupt employers' operations.

Makes private employers who violate specified provisions of this Act liable to the employee affected in the amount of the rate of compensation 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.

Sunsets this Act five years after its enactment.