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house Bill H.R. 4219

Should Businesses be Encouraged to Offer “Workflex” Plans With Paid Leave & Flexible Work Options?

Argument in favor

This bill is a win-win for workers and businesses — it gives all workers whose employers offer “workflex” plans more guaranteed paid leave than any state law plus flexible work arrangements, without imposing a costly mandate on businesses.

Holly's Opinion
···
07/31/2018
Working in America sucks. Most workers don’t get sufficient time off and it is killing us and making us fat alcoholics. More time off and paid leave means more productivity.
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Jane's Opinion
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08/01/2018
Some employers are already doing this. As long as an employee can act like an ADULT this could be a win win. Sadly I see many people out there getting paid to not do their job while others pick up the slack. Employers need to be choosy on who they hire for this set up.
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Michael's Opinion
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07/31/2018
This is not Ozzie and Harriet anymore. We are a country of diverse lifestyles. If we want to be competitors in the marketplace and have the top people in place there has to be balance in life and work. Quality of life is holistic not just work oriented.
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Argument opposed

Businesses shouldn’t get a break from local employment benefits laws for offering “workflex” plans with paid leave & flexible work options. The federal government should mandate that all businesses provide paid leave.

burrkitty's Opinion
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07/31/2018
I’m not a fan of any Bill that promotes more “business is exempt from the law” clauses. Sneaky sideways Deregulation.
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Andy1's Opinion
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07/31/2018
Good business should offer this to attract talent, but it shouldn’t get them out of offering other benefits
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John's Opinion
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07/31/2018
Businesses should not be exempt from state and local work laws.
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house has not voted
      house Committees
      Committee on Education and Labor
    IntroducedNovember 2nd, 2017

What is House Bill H.R. 4219?

This bill — the Workflex in the 21st Century Act — would establish a voluntary workflex option that'd exempt employers who provide flexible workplace arrangement plans that combine paid leave and flexible work options from certain state and local employee benefit laws. It’d require that such “workflex” plans provide full- and part-time employees with a minimum amount of paid leave ranging between 12-20 days annually depending on the size of the employer and the employee’s tenure. Further, it’d require that paid leave be paired with flexible work options such as telework or flexible scheduling, a complete list of which can be found below.

Workflex plans would have to provide employees with at least one of the following options:

  • A biweekly work program;

  • A compressed work schedule;

  • A telework program;

  • A job sharing program;

  • Flexible scheduling;

  • Predictable scheduling.

Employees wouldn’t be required to adopt a flexible work schedule to receive paid leave. All employees would receive paid leave even if they don’t adopt a flexible work schedule.

Employers who don’t comply with the terms of the bill would have to comply state & local benefits laws, and could face penalties under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act for non-compliance.

Impact

Employees; employers; businesses; and state and local governments.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 4219

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-DepthSponsoring Rep. Mimi Walters (R-CA) introduced this bill to help employees strike a better work-life balance by giving employers the choice of offering “workflex” plans with guaranteed paid leave and flexible working arrangements or complying with state and local benefits laws:

“We’re all leading increasingly busy lives at home and at work. Hard-working Americans deserve to have scheduling options that will help them find a better work-life balance. As our kids grow up and our parents age, being able to adjust work schedules to accommodate personal responsibilities would be a tremendous help. Under this bill, employees could spend more time with their families and in their communities, while working for an employer that understands their needs.”

Original cosponsor Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) added:

“This important legislation would allow businesses to offer flexibility in their employment leave plans to suit the business and the employee. As a millennial, one of the most common workforce demands from my generation is more flexibility in their workplace, and this legislation would amend federal law to allow businesses to voluntarily provide paid leave and workflex options to their employees. This is a win-win for employers and for our workforce.”

The Progressive Policy Institute noted:

“This proposal would not relieve any company of the responsibility to offer paid leave; companies that don’t opt-in would continue to be subject to state mandates. What’s more, this legislation provides greater guaranteed paid leave than is provided under any current state law and more than nearly all local laws, while also incorporating workflex options and important worker protections.”

This legislation has the support of four Republican cosponsors. It has also been endorsed by several interest groups, including the Chamber of Commerce and the Progressive Policy Institute.


Media:

Summary by Eric Revell

(Photo Credit: iStock / B&M Noskowski)

AKA

Workflex in the 21st Century Act

Official Title

To amend the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 to include a voluntary option for qualified flexible workplace arrangements.

    Working in America sucks. Most workers don’t get sufficient time off and it is killing us and making us fat alcoholics. More time off and paid leave means more productivity.
    Like (48)
    Follow
    Share
    I’m not a fan of any Bill that promotes more “business is exempt from the law” clauses. Sneaky sideways Deregulation.
    Like (38)
    Follow
    Share
    Some employers are already doing this. As long as an employee can act like an ADULT this could be a win win. Sadly I see many people out there getting paid to not do their job while others pick up the slack. Employers need to be choosy on who they hire for this set up.
    Like (13)
    Follow
    Share
    Good business should offer this to attract talent, but it shouldn’t get them out of offering other benefits
    Like (12)
    Follow
    Share
    Businesses should not be exempt from state and local work laws.
    Like (11)
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    This should be mandated, not another giveaway to employers who want slave Labor. The EMPLOYEES should get the tax break if they have flex time bc that always means they work more hours than they are paid for.
    Like (11)
    Follow
    Share
    This is not Ozzie and Harriet anymore. We are a country of diverse lifestyles. If we want to be competitors in the marketplace and have the top people in place there has to be balance in life and work. Quality of life is holistic not just work oriented.
    Like (10)
    Follow
    Share
    Companies already have flex time in salary jobs. Sounds good, but you still have more work than you have time for. It give companies mean to work you 60 - 80 hrs a week, not their problem you had to work 60 hrs and all shifts, because you didn’t get the work done, you got flex hrs. Unions Fought for 40 hr week and overtime pay to force companies to hire more people and not work a few to death. This is called economic slavery.
    Like (8)
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    In a free market system, the system regulates itself. The market is perfect. Government is far from perfect. Go shopping for a house. If you have an open mind, you will soon see how perfect the free market system truly is.
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    They need to learn to think outside the box.
    Like (7)
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    I’m for “encouraging” flexibility in the workplace. As long as it’s not required. As unemployment #’s fall, employment will become more competitive. This could be a resource to help employers. But I’m curious, Countable, who exactly provides the analysis to vote “yeah” or “nay?” 🤷‍♀️ The rationale for voting “nay,” states: ‘Businesses shouldn’t get a break from local employment benefits laws for offering “workflex” plans with paid leave & flexible work options. The federal government should mandate that all businesses provide paid leave.’ So if you vote against this it’s because you want the federal government to mandate paid leave? I’d suspect most people who’d vote against this want the government to stop mandating so much from businesses. And it is the ONLY reason I voted “yeah,” as in it’s current form, it is encouraged vs mandated.
    Like (7)
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    This seems like an attempt to further erode workers' rights in this nation.
    Like (7)
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    Absolutely not! Businesses should be required to comply with state and local employee benefit laws. There should be no exemptions! All workers should get the benefits that are guaranteed to them by the laws of their local jurisdictions.
    Like (5)
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    Companies should not be exempt from local and state laws regarding working hours and time off. Plus anything from California especially put forward by a RINO is suspect.
    Like (5)
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    👍🏻H.R. 4219— the Workflex in the 21st Century Act👍🏻 I strongly recommend the passage of Rep Mimi Waters House bill H.R. 4219— the Workflex in the 21st Century Act — Which would establish a voluntary Workflex option that’ll exempt employers who provide flexible workplace arrangement plans that combine paid leave and flexible work options from certain state and local employee benefit laws. It’d require that such “workflex” plans provide full- and part-time employees with a minimum amount of paid leave ranging between 12-20 days annually depending on the size of the employer and the employee’s tenure. Further, it’d require that paid leave be paired with flexible work options such as telework or flexible scheduling, a complete list of which can be found below. The plan must also provide employees that meet certain service requirements with at least one of the following flexible work options: • a biweekly work program, • a compressed work schedule, • a telework program, • a job sharing program, • flexible scheduling, or • predictable scheduling. This bill is a win-win for workers and businesses — it gives all workers whose employers offer “workflex” plans more guaranteed paid leave than any state law plus flexible work arrangements, without imposing a costly mandate on businesses.
    Like (5)
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    Yes. I support this proposal. I’ve traveled extensively around the world which has allowed me to observe how other nations and cultures balance work-life activities. Compared to these observations, I believe that Americans are more focused on work and less on living. Perhaps if we spent more time on raising a healthy family with the support of the business sector, we might improve the quality of life as well as mitigate many social problems we face today.
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    If businesses want to attract top talent, they will adjust to the changing workplace environments of our times. This is an employer decision and should not be a mandate of law. I see some in here argue about ‘employers rights’ but I see this as ‘employee choice’. We can no longer expect that we will work and retire from the same place. We should empower ourselves and solicit the best possible work/life options for our own health wealth and happiness. #EmpowerYourself
    Like (4)
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    Stop taking negotiable benefits out of employers hands. This takes choices away from both employees and employers.
    Like (4)
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    We must mandate acceptable working conditions. The pursuit of life, liberty, and happiness is not a bonus.
    Like (4)
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    Encouraging is one thing, but why even vote on hiw a business decides to manage itself? This is a capitalist economy, thats how we are the strongest economy in history. Don't let anyone, ever tell another how to manage their business...
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