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DeLauro Calls on Congress to Reject the So-Called Working Families Flexibility Act

May 2, 2017
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC (May 2, 2017) Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (CT-03) today spoke on the House Floor to call on Congress to reject the Working Families Flexibility Act, which would give workers less flexibility and less pay. Congress should instead enact the Healthy Families Act, the FAMILY Act, and the Schedules That Work Act to give employees the resources they need to succeed.

Click here to watch the full remarks.

Here are the remarks, as delivered:

I rise in strong opposition to this bill, which would give workers less flexibility and less pay.

You know, the economic challenge of our time, is that people are in jobs today that don’t pay them enough to live on. They are struggling to makes ends meet and this bill would make that worse. It forces workers to decide between time and a half overtime pay and paid time off when they work more than 40 hours a week. It enables employers to exert more control over employees’ wages and hours. It hinders a worker’s ability to plan family time, to have flexible and stable schedules, and yes, to make ends meet.

Rather than helping American workers earn better wages and more time off, this bill creates more power for employers to delay paying overtime wages for as long as 13 months.

For people who need to work extra hours to pay those bills, this legislation forces them into an impossible choice between time and money—with no guarantee of time off.

This bill is nothing more than a false promise of time off and a pay cut. Working Americans deserve better. We have an obligation to pursue public policy that puts workers before corporations.

Instead of forcing bad choices for workers about their time off, we ought to bring the Healthy Families Act to the floor, which would enable workers to earn paid sick days—because no one should have to choose between getting healthy and putting food on the table.

Instead of considering this legislation, which will hurt workers and their ability to earn fair wages, we should be considering the FAMILY Act, which would create a national paid leave insurance program to allow workers to take time off while they’re caring for a new child, a seriously ill family member, or their own serious health conditions.

Instead of undermining workers’ schedules, we should be considering the Schedules That Work Act, which gives workers more control over their schedules, offers them real predictability and stability in their shifts and in their work hours.

These are the policies that workers need—policies that reflect the realities of working in America today, the challenges that workers face. This bill goes in the opposite direction. I urge my colleagues to oppose it. Thank you.