Rep. Steve Daines’ Damaging Week to Montanans

by jhwygirl

It ended up the do-nothing U.S. House of Representatives passed three kumbaya bills and two not-jobs-creation bills last week. One of those not-jobs-creation bills is the Full Faith and Credit Act that we wrote briefly about the other day – HR807. This bill actually hurts employment by telling the Treasury what order in which to pay bills.

HR807 passed with only Republican votes – while 8 Republicans joined with Dems in NAY to passage. Which tells you what kind of bill this is.

Where was Montana Rep. Steve Daines? He voted yes.

The second non-kumbaya bill and the other real work damage the GOP-led House did last week was the Working Families Flexibility Act – HR1406.

That name sure sounds nice, doesn’t it

The Working Families Flexibility Act repeals a portion of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 – the portion that requires employers of hourly wage earners to pay time-and-a-half for work hours over 40. Instead of pay, an employer (e.g., not the employee) can opt to pay out those overtime hours as “comp time” – a bank of hours, like vacation or sick time.

And guess what? The employer doesn’t have to pay it out to you when you and your employer part ways. Not only that – imagine the impacts to an employee (i.e., a father or a mother) who turns down overtime?

Where was Montana Rep. Steve Daines on this bill that both destroys job creation and exposes hourly wage earning families to risky and unfair labor practices? Rep. Daines voted yes.

75 years of standing labor law – built on events that brought about its need – and Daines votes to do away with overtime pay.

Now – this bill ties in nicely with the GOP’s never ending quest to damage and roadblock the Affordable Care Act. If employers can’t cut employees back enough to avoid having to provide healthcare, at least then they could force everyone to work 50 hour work weeks, with compensation that only increases what might be nonexistent sick and vacation leave! See how fascism works?

And before you think they’ve given up on this quest to gut-punch the Affordable Care Act, Rep. Michele Bachmann’s bill to repeal said bill – HR45 is schedule for the floor this week.

Used to be “jobs jobs jobs” we heard from the GOP, but that has been quite a while. It’s one thing to myopically focus on other issues (like Benghazigate?) but it’s an entirely different thing when you start taking pot shots at jobs and American hourly wage earners, both already spread thin.

Pay attention here, Montana. Steve Daines is going to be running for something in 2014. Don’t let these votes fade from memory.

  1. Big Swede

    Representative Martha Roby has a different opinion.

    “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 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.”

    • JC

      “The employer doesn’t have to pay it out to you when you and your employer part ways.”

      Is that what Roby means when she says “we want to get Washington out of the way of how you use your time”?

      Sounds like she wants Washington out of the way so the employer can stiff the employee by not converting comp time to wages upon an employee leaving a business for whatever reason, or allowing an employee to use them when they wish just like vacation or sick leave. At least the feds guarantee comp time one way or the other. Why not require the same of private business?

      But what do you expect when unions have been emasculated for the most part by neolibs.

      • Big Swede

        Every thing I read says “banking the hours” is optional.

        If you think you’re going to get fired take the OT.

        • It’s optional (emphasis) for the employer. The employer decides how he wants to handle OT: pay at time and half or give comp hours. NOT the employee.

          How is it family friendly to ‘take the OT’ if you don’t want it or can’t because of (for example) have to take care of the kids?


        • JC

          “Everything I read” is more a statement of your perusal priorities than any breadth in reading. Here go read some mainstream media reporting on what a dem rep thinks.

          And just because I know you only really unnerstand YouTube viddies, the dems have gladly provided you with one:

          What do working women think? Check out 9 to 5:

          “he Working Families Flexibility Act, a true misnomer, would in reality ensure workers have less time, less flexibility and less money.

          This anti-family proposal would force workers to spend more time away from their families in exchange for possibly getting to spend time later with their families. Under this proposal, the employer, not the employee, determines when earned comp time can be used.”

          How about CounterPunch:

          “The comp time bill may not benefit workers, but it is certainly a boon for employers. It increases their flexibility in assigning work hours and cuts their costs. A low-paid working mom earning $10 an hour who accrues 160 hours of comp time in place of overtime pay is effectively making an interest-free loan of $1,600 to her employer. That’s a lot to ask of a mother who earns about $20,000 a year. Indeed, it’s a lot to ask any hourly paid worker to lend a month’s pay to their employer.”

          You really need to get out and read more widely Swede, and quit spending so much time parroting the right-wing circle jerk sites.

          • Big Swede

            From the bill.

            ‘(i) in which the employer has offered and the employee has chosen to receive compensatory time in lieu of monetary overtime compensation; and

            ‘(ii) entered into knowingly and voluntarily by such employees and not as a condition of employment.

            • JC

              And if the employee chose not to? Then they can either not be offered overtime, or can be fired. Did you not watch the YouTuber and get educamated?

              And so I also guess that you think it ok that an employee give his employer an interest free loan, eh, by acquiescing to the terms of the bill and taking comp in lieu of overtime?

            • There was an amendment just before it passed. I wasn’t able to find it as I wrote – I wonder if this was it.

              Still – screw this bill for all the reasons I stated plus that which JC has laid out.

              Gotta love how the GOP names bills exactly the opposite of what they really are. There really should be some Truth In Advertising rules up there for congress.

            • JC

              Bogus numbers and a headline that isn’t a logical extension of the facts.

              Let’s talk about the perks that $60k wage earner gets: mortgage deduction; tax break on employer-provided health insurance; charitable deductions; student tuition and expense deductions, Lifetime learning credits, loan interest deductions, tax-free education bonds; IRA or 401(k) breaks; capital gains tax breaks; dependent and childcare deductions.

              Back to the drawing board with your crayons again, BS.

              Then again, if’n you’re going to hate on the poor, and really like it when a family of 4 has to live in poverty on one minimum wage job, well then keep on throwing his kind of heartless BS out, BS. Shows what kind of character you really have

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