Extra cash or time off? Overtime employees may soon have a choice

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If you work at a job and are eligible for overtime, changes may be coming your way.

Lawmakers in Washington are looking to change the way overtime workers are compensated.

"There's always times of the year when you need that extra cash," said Kris Gordon, an employee at Community Tire Pros in Phoenix. "But when you have a 50-hour work week all the time, some time off would be nice too."

The U.S. House of Representatives just passed a bill that would require employers give overtime workers the option of taking comp time instead of paying them time and half.

Supporters of the bill claim it would give businesses more flexibility and provide employees with a chance to spend more time with family. Critics argue its just a way to help companies avoid paying overtime.

Valley employment attorney Stephanie Leach said that one of the biggest challenges could be managers trying to juggle when employees work and when they don't.

"If you're trying to minimize OT, and instead of OT you are giving out comp time and you're that busy - when are you going to be able to offer people time to use their comp time," Leach said. "I think it's a benefit to both sides."

The Fair Labor Standards Act is proposing:

  • Comp time be given in a reasonable amount of time
  • Employers can't force employees to take comp time
  • Workers have the final say on how they're compensated

Gordon is hoping the bill passes. "That option would really be nice for people," said Gordon.

Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

Jason Barry
Jason Barry has been reporting in the Valley since 1997.

Click to learn more about Jason.

Jason Barry

Jason Barry has been reporting in the Valley since 1997.

He is a nine-time Rocky Mountain Emmy Award winner who is best known for his weekly Dirty Dining reports, which highlight local restaurants with major health code violations.

Jason was born in Los Angeles and graduated from the University of Miami.

An avid sports fan, Jason follows the Diamondbacks, Cardinals and Suns with his wife, Karen, and son, Joshua.

His favorite stories to cover are the station’s Pay it Forward segments, which reward members of the community with $500 for going ‘above and beyond’ the call of duty to help others.

Jason, started his career at WBTW-TV in Florence, SC before moving to WALA-TV in Mobile, AL, was named the Associated Press Reporter of the Year in 2002.

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