Floor Statement on H.R. 1180, the Working Families Flexibility Act

May 2, 2017 Issues: Consumer Protection, Jobs and Economy

Unfortunately, too many workers in Oregon and across the country are still facing a great deal of economic anxiety. They worry about rent payments, increasing health care costs, saving for retirement, balancing family responsibilities and work, and making ends meet.

Congress should be considering policy changes that support workers, not a bill that threatens their economic security. This bill takes away the right to earn overtime and instead, a worker gets a vague IOU for comp time sometime in the future - and only if the comp time does not unduly disrupt the operations of the employer – whatever that means.

I would like to share the story of Anjeanette. She said "I work as a waitress at a restaurant in Gresham, OR that is part of a large chain. I have three children. I have never had a single paid sick day.

"A few years ago, when I was working in construction, I sprained my ankle badly and couldn't go to work for a week. I didn't have any paid sick days, so I lost a whole week's pay -- which meant I wasn't able to pay all my bills and wasn't able to pay for gas.

"A single mother of three sons, I also struggle to care for them when they get sick. When my youngest got the flu, one of my older sons had to stay home from school to care for him."

In May and June we celebrate Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. This is the perfect time for Congress to focus on legislation that allows parents, like Anjeanette, to be more present in their kids’ lives. Instead, this bill would result in taking wages from their pockets.

The so-called Working Families Flexibility Act is not a solution, and I urge my colleagues to reject it. I yield back.