House advances bill to change overtime rules for private sector

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WASHINGTON -

The House has backed legislation that would allow private sector companies to give employees compensation time off rather than overtime pay.

The vote was 229-197 on Tuesday as six Republicans joined 191 Democrats in opposing the measure.

Republicans cast the measure as offering greater flexibility for employers and workers. Democrats complained that the bill undermines the Fair Labor Standards Act. No Democrat voted for the measure.

Republican Rep. Pete Sessions of Texas says the work force has changed dramatically, and that employees in both the public and private sector should have the same chance to balance work and personal life.

News 12 New Jersey spoke to several people around the state Wednesday, who all said that they would rather get overtime than more time off.

“Cause a lot of people, they like to work. We need money. We can’t work for nothing. Bills have to be paid,” said Plainfield resident Dana Wilkerson.

“It’s hard to get the full-time positions. Just that alone, getting a full-time job isn’t easy now,” said another resident. “To get overtime would be great.”

Opponents of the bill say that they are concerned that employers would shift hours away from workers who want or need overtime.

Democratic Rep. Steny Hoyer of Maryland says the bill "effectively devalues what workers can earn for the extra hours they work."

The legislation faces an uncertain fate in the Senate.

The Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.

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