Lawmakers Consider HR Policy-Backed Workflex Bill

July 27, 2018

HR Policy joined a coalition letter supporting the Workflex in the 21st Century Act at a House hearing this week, applauding Rep. Mimi Walters (R-CA) "for her leadership in introducing this 21st Century Workflex policy that works for employers and employees, helping them meet work-life and organizational needs." 

The bill (H.R. 4219) would provide relief from myriad state and local laws for employers who voluntarily offer employees a qualified flexible work arrangement plan under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) that includes:

  • A federal standard of paid time off for both full- and part-time employees; and
  • At least one of six possible flexible work arrangements, such as telecommuting, flexible and predictable scheduling, and job-sharing programs.

Author, author:  Rep. Walters’ goal in authoring the bill was to help workers establish a better work/life balance.  “Our work and home lives are growing increasingly busier, placing a premium on our free time.  My Workflex legislation would give hard-working Americans access to paid leave and flexible work schedules that will help them find a better work/life balance."

HELP Subcommittee Chairman Tim Walberg (R-MI) said during the hearing that he was interested in “finding solutions that work for men, women, Millennials, and old codgers like me.”

Why it matters:  It is unclear what is next for the Workflex bill.  The House has adjourned for the August district work period and will not be back in session until after Labor Day.  Action is unlikely as mid-term elections approach.  Nevertheless, the hearing is an important first step to finding a workable, non-mandated solution to paid sick leave that also ensures that large multi-state employers who provide generous leave benefits are not subjected to myriad state and local prescriptions on how to do so.