Martha Roby

Working Families Flexibility Act - May 11, 2103

Martha Roby
May 11, 2013— Washington, DC
Weekly Republican Address
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Hello everyone, I’m Martha Roby. I’m proud to represent Alabama’s Second Congressional District, where my husband Riley and I live and raise our two children, Margaret and George.

Allow me to take this opportunity to wish a Happy Mother’s Day to my mom, and to all the moms out there.

It is such a blessing to be a mother. Raising children is an immeasurable joy, but as all moms know, it comes with unique challenges. And it can be especially tough for moms who work outside the home.

Talk to just about any mom or dad and they’ll tell you they wish they had more time. They wish they had just one more hour in the day to make life work. Moms and dads need to find time to take their child to the doctor, attend a PTA meeting or make it to a tee ball game.

Think about those caring for elderly parents, or military families where one of the parents is about to deploy.

While we may not be able to legislate another hour into the day, we can help working Americans better balance life’s demands by offering more flexibility for time away from work.

This week the House passed my bill, the Working Families Flexibility Act, which will remove an outdated and unnecessary restriction on private sector employees accruing comp time, or paid time off, in exchange for overtime.

This bill provides options for working moms and dads who need more time to take care of family responsibilities. It also demonstrates how applying conservative principles can help working Americans in their everyday lives.

What this bill doesn’t do is change the 40-hour work week or how overtime is calculated. 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. This bill also doesn’t add government regulation to the workplace - we have enough red tape as is.

A more flexible workplace isn’t a new concept. In fact, many employees in the public sector enjoy this benefit right now. That’s because in 1985 Congress passed a law allowing local and state governments to offer their employees the option of comp time.

So, 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?

Our message to the American people is this: we want to get Washington out of the way of how you use your time. I am proud to champion the Working Families Flexibility Act on behalf of working moms and dads throughout the country.

I join my fellow House Republicans in urging the Democratic-run Senate to take up this bill and pass it soon. And I urge the president to listen to the working parents of our country and promise them he’ll sign this bill into law when it reaches his desk. Let’s come together to empower Americans with more freedom and more flexibility with their time.

There are big challenges facing this country. Though we’ve seen some improvement, slow economic growth and job creation is in danger of becoming a new normal.

This bill won’t solve the debt crisis, or fix the president’s health care law, or simplify the tax code. 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.

The Working Families Flexibility Act does that by helping Americans better balance the demands of family and work.

Thank you, and may God bless our mothers, and God bless the United States of America.

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