Today, Congresswoman Mimi Walters (R-CA) introduced H.R. 4219, the Workflex in the 21st Century Act, which would create the nation’s first federal comprehensive framework for workplace flexibility. The legislation provides a guaranteed level of paid time off and flexible work arrangement options, such as telecommuting or compressed schedules, to meet the needs of the modern workforce.
The National Association of Manufacturers applauds Congresswoman Walters for taking this positive step forward for employees and their work–life responsibilities. Today, two income households are the norm where individuals have to juggle day-to-day work responsibilities with needs for themselves and their families. The United States has fallen behind in providing modern benefits like paid time off and other flexibilities, and employees find themselves choosing between caring for a loved one or ensuring there is no loss of wages for time off. It is time to fix this, and Congresswoman Walters’ bill takes the much-needed step toward coming into the 21st century with new workplace benefits.
The bill is not a mandate but rather a voluntary option for employers to decide what they are able to offer to their employees. Manufacturers across the country face a patchwork of state, and sometimes local, paid leave laws, making it tough for businesses that operate in several states to navigate through the ever-changing paid leave landscape. This bill will provide employers with the choice to either implement differing state and local laws, or implement the provisions of the Workflex in the 21st Century Act, which will allow an employer to have one leave system and work flex benefit for all their employees no matter what state they are employed. It is not a “one size fits all,” as some of these state and local laws are designed to do.
This bill will keep the decision-making where it belongs, with and by the employer and based on the make-up and needs of the employees.
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