CullmanTimes.com - Cullman, Alabama

Opinion

May 15, 2013

COMMENTARY: Liberals Fulfilling Caricature in Flextime Fight

It didn't get a lot of attention. It happened the same day as hearings on the Benghazi attacks and the announcement of a verdict in the Jodi Arias trial. But House Majority Leader Eric Cantor took a modest step forward last week in his plan to broaden the Republican agenda beyond budget cuts.

In February, Cantor had given a speech titled "Making Life Work," in which he argued that the government should enact conservative policies that would make a difference in people's daily lives. As an example, he said the government ought to make it easier for employers to offer flextime to their workers.

On May 8, the House passed a bill to do just that. Under the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, workers who get an hourly wage must be paid 50 percent more for overtime work. They can't take their compensation in the form of an equivalent amount of time off. The House bill, introduced by Alabama Republican Martha Roby, would make it possible for them to get an hour and a half off in the future in return for an hour of overtime today.

Karen DeLoach, a bookkeeper from Montgomery, Ala., testified before Congress last month that a flextime option would make it easier for her to help out her niece, who has special needs, and to go on mission trips overseas with her church. April is a busy time for her because of tax returns, and she would like to be able to bank hours then for these purposes.

Almost all House Democrats disagree with DeLoach, and voted against the flextime bill. They say it would erode the sacred principle of the 40-hour work week and let unscrupulous employers coerce workers into turning down overtime pay.

Republicans note that state employees have had the ability to substitute comp time for overtime pay since 1985 and say it's time for private-sector workers to have the same options. The Democratic retort is that private-sector workers are more vulnerable to their employers because they don't have civil- service protections and are less likely to be unionized.

Text Only
Opinion
  • EDITORIAL: Primary shows maturity, will of voters

    With the local Republican Primary wrapped up, the outcome of three races may have seemed surprising to some observers.

    July 22, 2014

  • COMMENTARY: A break from the campaign rhetoric

    The collective sigh of relief felt throughout Cullman Wednesday morning signaled the end of another primary political season the previous night. As Wednesday’s Times headline told us, it was a clean sweep.

    July 21, 2014

  • Harris Coleman COMMENTARY: Billy Coleman, a true statesman

    King Solomon said, “Pride will ruin people, but those who are humble will be honored.” He also said, “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” Billy Coleman, the past elected superintendent of Cullman County Schools, is the living example of these wise statements of truth.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • COMMENTARY: Twisty road back to Cullman

    The young journalist who was somewhat listening to the elder newspaperman on the other side of the desk didn’t have a clue.

    July 19, 2014

  • EDITORIAL: Judge makes the right decision

    Many people are closely following the case of Jay Maynor, the man charged with murdering a man convicted of molesting his daughter 12 years ago.

    July 7, 2014

  • EDITORIAL: Truth and independence

    Somewhere along a colonial road between Lexington and Concord, Americans found their courage and resolve to become independent.

    July 4, 2014

  • EDITORIAL: Taking charge with a vote

    The Democratic and Republican primaries arrive Tuesday morning across the state, with many election officials and candidates fearing a low turnout could be in store for what otherwise should be cause for a great gathering of citizens.

    June 3, 2014

  • EDITORIAL: A state dying from drug use

    Alabama coroners, with the power to order and log results of  toxicology reports, hold the key to important information for families and law enforcement officials.

    May 20, 2014

  • EDITORIAL: Looking beyond the standard

    Cullman County schools superintendent Billy Coleman opened a wide door of opportunity when he supported a transition to an appointed executive to lead the local education system.

    May 20, 2014

  • Editorial: Meal money violates trust

    As various local political candidates dash toward the June 3 primary, a troublesome issue remains unattended on the table.

    May 11, 2014