GOP Address: Rep. Martha Roby on Flexibility for Working Parents
(WASHINGTON) -- In this week's Republican address, Alabama Congresswoman Martha Roby spoke about the Working Families Flexibility Act of 2013, a bill passed by the House of Representatives this week.
On the eve of Mother's Day, Roby dove into the details of the bill, which she sponsors. "This bill provides options for working moms and dads who need more time to take care of family responsibilities," Roby said. "It also demonstrates how applying conservative principles can help working Americans in their everyday lives."
The bill would allow private sector workers to exchange overtime wages for paid time off. This option, already available to government workers, would allow parents time to "take their child to the doctor, attend a PTA meeting, or make it to a tee-ball game," says Roby.
"What this bill doesn't do is change the 40-hour work week or how overtime is calculated," Roby explained. "The same protections that have been a part of labor law for decades remain, and we've added additional protections against coercion or unfair treatment."
Roby questioned critics of the bill who feel that employers may force workers to take time off instead of overtime pay. "Why should the rules be any different for employees in the private sector? Why should government workers have more freedom in the workplace than everybody else? And why is Washington restricting employers from offering certain benefits that government itself is free to offer."
Roby concluded by urging the Senate to act expediently on the bill. "I join my fellow House Republicans in urging the Democratic-run Senate to take up this bill and pass it soon." She also urged President Barack Obama to "listen to the working parents of our country and promise them, he'll sign this bill into law when it reaches his desk."
"This bill won't solve the debt crisis, or fix the President's healthcare law, or simplify the tax code," Roby admitted. "But the fact that we can't solve the big, overarching problems overnight shouldn't stop us from doing what we can right now to help make life a little easier for working moms and dads."
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