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Timely Decision

Republicans and Democrats do battle over employee comp time.

This story appears in the July 1997 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Will small-business owners back their employees up against a wall and pressure them to take paid time off--called "comp time"--instead of paying them time-and-a-half for overtime work? That's the contention of the Clinton administration, congressional Democrats and the AFL-CIO, who are opposing GOP House and Senate bills that give employers the option of offering comp time--in lieu of pay--to employees.

Comp time is prohibited under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), established in 1938, which requires employers to pay time-and-a-half to nearly all hourly employees who work overtime. Both Republicans and Democrats agree the prohibition is an anachronism, but there are partisan differences over how to structure a comp-time provison.

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