Democrat war on women

Most people like flexibility in their work lives. In my experience, it tends to be more important for women and various studies have shown that flexible schedules are a key factor in women’s advance in the workplace. So why is Obama against flexibility and why does he threaten to veto a bill that would give us greater choice in our jobs?

The White House has threatened to veto the Family Flexibility Act, which would give workers in the private sector the kind of flexibility in work schedules enjoyed by Federal workers since 1985.

In the old industrial model it made sense for everybody to come to work at the same time, work the same hours and leave at the same time. People had to work to the pace of the machines they operated. In fact, they were often more parts of the big machine than human workers.

This system began to change a generation ago and has accelerated. Work can now be more flexible. We can work more at our own pace, in ways that make sense to our own lives. Things like telecommuting and shared schedules make it easier to have a life and have a career at the same time.

Unfortunately, many of our labor laws were set up in the 1930s. Some are not only old-fashioned in the quaint and cute way, but are also pernicious in that they make it harder for workers to work and have good lives.

Making work-life more flexible just makes sense. Of course nothing that makes sense is without its opponents. Rules persist for reasons. Often it is because organized groups benefit from the complicated rules and this is what is happening here. Many lobbyists hate this rule for its simplicity and flexibility. They can't game a system as easily when it is simple. Let's ask our politicians to work for the people, not the organizations.

Let's ask our politicians to pass the Family Flexibility Act and tell Obama to keep his veto pen in his pocket. Let's give Americans the flexibility to life their lives more as they wish. This costs nothing to implement and it will really help.

Posted by Christine & John at May 11, 2013 7:26 AM
Comments
Comment #365675

Ah, the key to Obama’s veto; it don’t cost anything. If the Family Flexibility Act required more taxes, if it was for a certain group of women (blacks, Hispanics, or Gays), then it would be a good law. Perhaps the politicians can fill the FFA up with special projects for minorities and include more taxes on rich white women; perhaps it would then be passed and signed.

Posted by: CasperWY at May 11, 2013 10:30 AM
Comment #365679

Linking to a subscription website certainly doesn’t help.

Posted by: womanmarine at May 11, 2013 11:16 AM
Comment #365686

Woman

Sorry. I don’t think much about that. This is the text of the act - http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/113/hr1406/text

Posted by: CJ at May 11, 2013 12:21 PM
Comment #365689

Isn’t this just a scheme to cheat workers of the 1.5x pay they earn for overtime work?

Posted by: Warren Porter at May 11, 2013 12:50 PM
Comment #365690

Warren

It gives people choices. Many people prefer flexibility. The modern world is no longer run at the pace of the machine. Those that still want to work in the old style have that option.

Posted by: CJ at May 11, 2013 1:02 PM
Comment #365691

C&J,
You don’t understand what this bill does.

“For employers… the bill is a way to impose extra work at no additional cost, effectively shifting what would otherwise be worker pay into corporate profits.”

It allows “private-sector employers to offer compensatory time off in lieu of time-and-a-half pay for overtime. Employers and workers are supposed to agree on the arrangement, but there is nothing to stop an employer from discriminating against those who prefer payment by cutting back on their overtime hours. Nor would employers face any real deterrent against forcing unpaid overtime on workers who fear losing their jobs if they object. The recourse for coerced workers would be to sue, a far-fetched and unaffordable option for most people.”
http://takingnote.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/05/10/the-family-unfriendly-act/

There’s more, but the upshot is that this bill is actually profoundly UNFRIENDLY towards working people. Is it any surprise the Republicans in the House voted overwhemlmingly for it?

The War on Women is a sustained legislative assault against women’s issues, being waged by Republicans on both the federal and state levels. For example, the GOP in MS, AL, ND, and other states has passed “trap laws” to effectively eliminate abortion clinics. That is an example of the War on Women.

Here are issues where Republicans commonly wage the sustained legislative assault known as the War on Women:

1. Access to reproductive control, both contraception & abortion services

2. Prosecution of violence against women

3. The way rape is defined when funding abortion for rape victims

4. Treatment of workplace discrimination against women

5. Elimination of Planned Parenthood

6. Preventing employer’s insurance from covering contraception

Posted by: phx8 at May 11, 2013 1:07 PM
Comment #365693

phx8

Chrissy likes flexible hours. (Actually, I would too, but since I always work more than 40 hours and am not eligible for OT it doesn’t matter to me.)

I like to give people choices. You prefer to enact rules that compell them to behave in ways you find convenient.

Re your list - it seems that for you the only rights women need is free access to contraception. I think that giving both women and men more choices in their work life is important. We disagree.

Posted by: CJ at May 11, 2013 1:18 PM
Comment #365696

This bill is NOT about flex-time. It is about overtime, which is NOT the same as flex-time, and whether overtime will be paid in lieu of time off. The employee does NOT choose when to take the time off. It is at the employer’s disgression. Warren summarizes this bill nicely: “a scheme to cheat workers of the 1.5x pay they earn for overtime work.”

You write: “… it seems that for you the only rights women need is free access to contraception.”

No. Please note the list includes other concerns, such as equal pay, and violence against women. In addition, Planned Parenthood covers a wide variety of services for women, including cancer screening and counseling, not just reproductive services.

This is what the War on Women refers to: a sustained legislative assault being waged by Republicans on both the federal and state level against issues pertaining to women.

Posted by: phx8 at May 11, 2013 2:18 PM
Comment #365697

C&J,

It gives people choices.

Not being adequately compensated for one’s work? That’s some choice!

Posted by: Warren Porter at May 11, 2013 2:19 PM
Comment #365698

Who opposes this bill? Let’s start with a statement from 9 to 5, the National Association of Working Women:

“If family flexibility is the goal, Congress could work within existing legislation to increase the minimum wage, prohibit mandatory overtime, and provide paid family leave. These provisions would offer workers the compensation and opportunity for control of their time that the Family Time Flexibility Act promises but does not deliver.”

And here is a truly devastating and damning quote from the official position of the Women’s Chamber of Commerce:

“H.R. 1406 would reward those employees who agree to “comp time” in lieu of overtime payments. Employers incentivized by a reduced payroll might well give “comp time” employees the preferred shifts, the needed hours, and the promotions. There is no protection in H.R. 1406 against this kind of employer behavior. Yet, this kind of employer behavior pits
employees against employees. Some employees cannot afford to defer getting paid since their low wages result in their living ‘pay check to pay check.’ Women owned businesses generally recognize that our employees are a kind of family; H.R. 1406 incentivizes a type of employer
behavior that is not healthy. Women own one third of all businesses in the United States. They pay and promote fairly. Many of the women who own businesses were once employees who were not provided the kind of
flexibility that is truly needed by employees. USCWW has long been a proponent of The Paycheck Fairness Act (H.R. 377/S. 84). This is the kind of economic security that helps
employees and our social and economic fabric at the same time. Further USCWW supports improvements to the Family Medical Leave Act and has long been a champion of paid sick days legislation. We urge Congress to take action in these arenas which would truly provide the kindof flexibility working families need.”

If there is a War on Women, it is clearly being waged by Republicans- mostly male Republicans. Oh. BTW. The Paycheck Fairness Act referred to by the female CEO of the Women’s Chamber of Commerce was supported by Democrats and opposed by Republicans; yet another example of the War on Women being waged by Republicans, another example of the sustained legislative assualt.

Posted by: phx8 at May 11, 2013 3:02 PM
Comment #365699

Warren

Speaking for myself, I am very much concerned with flexibility in my life. As I said, I work more than 40 hours most weeks and get paid the same no matter what. But I like the fact that I work when I need to and when I want to.

A few years ago, I managed an office with about 45 “knowledge workers.” We had flexible schedules and many people were telecommuting. None of the salary workers had any need to work more than 40 hours and I never had to ask them to work more than that. But it was good for all of us that they could choose when to work, within reason of some set times.

I had one guy who worked mostly at night. During the day he used to go to museums and walk around. We had people who would telework a couple times a week. They were more productive at home. I suspect they did other things too, but they produced the work, so it worked for me too.

We need flexibility.

J2t2 - RE “list includes other concerns, such as equal pay, and violence against women.” Equal pay is the law and has been. Nobody is against equal pay. Violence against women (and men) is against the law. Nobody favors violence. Those are bogus issues.

The “war on women” is a bogus issue too. I use it only because you all do.

The big difference that I see between conservative and liberal view on women (such that they exist at all) is that liberals want big government to “protect” women and conservatives want to empower all people, men and women, to protect themselves.

There is another permutation and that is ObamaCare. ObamaCare gives incentives to keep people more at part time work. Maybe with ObamaCare this 40 hour thing won’t matter much anyway.

Warren and J2

I would also point out the the Federal government, run by Obama, ALREADY allows flex time and comp time. In fact, it encourages these things, as well as telecommuting.

In fact, Federal laws require teleworking http://www.telework.gov/guidance_and_legislation/telework_legislation/index.aspx, which is always flexible (unless some fascist boss wants to fool with people’s time)

Posted by: CJ at May 11, 2013 3:29 PM
Comment #365701

C&J,
This isn’t about flexibility; this is about depriving workers of overtime pay.

Federal government, run by Obama, ALREADY allows flex time and comp time.

The government is not a for-profit institution. Also, many of these things are regulated heavily by the Labor Unions.

Posted by: Warren Porter at May 11, 2013 3:40 PM
Comment #365709

Obamacare does not incentivize companies to use part-time status with employees anymore than the previous system.

Obamacare is going to be much, much better than most people realize. In Oregon, the state-run exchange is taking form. One of the largest insureres, Providence, cut its rate by 15% when it found itself competing with other members on the exchange. Other large health care insurers will not participate. They don’t want to compete. They’d rather dump their most expensive insurance customers and then enter the exchange under a different name. Good luck with that, Regence! The exchange will provide the largest pool of potential custemors ever, but there will be no recission, no rejections for pre-existing conditions, and competitive rates.

Some states with conservatives in charge are going to have to do a lot of explaining to their constituents when the cost of their voter’s health care is so much higher than liberal states like Oregon, who aggressively pursued Obamacare.

Posted by: phx8 at May 11, 2013 5:53 PM
Comment #365711

One of the principal reasons that unions gained a strong foothold in civil service areas such as police was the issue of overtime pay vs. compensatory time.

My father, a police officer, rejoiced when his department unionized in the 60s. He had spent the first two decades of his career working an enormous number of mandatory hours of overtime for essentially nothing (comp time which could never be taken). Was he unreasonable in believing that he should have been monetarily compensated for a double shift?

This effort to turn the clock back deserves to fail.

Posted by: Rich at May 11, 2013 6:29 PM
Comment #365712

Warren

Federal government unions are not allowed to bargain collectively in the sense private unions do. Federal workers do not strike and Federal employees cannot be forced to join a union as a condition of employment.

The flexibility Federal employees enjoy should be given to private sector workers too.

Rich

Giving workers more flexible schedule is progressing to the Future. The restrictive rules now in place are relics of the past.

Posted by: CJ at May 11, 2013 6:39 PM
Comment #365799

Let me be blunt for a moment here: it is not clever to reverse the polarity of an argument, and then pump bull**** down the line. It is the most simplistic kind of rhetorical unimaginativeness.

This proposal is crap. It essentially lets folks pay workers in time off they’re not even really allowed full discretion over. You’re not only not paid time and a half, you’re paid by a method that doesn’t even really give you that time free and clear.

It might benefit the business world, in terms of cost savings, but it’s costs saved at the cost of compensation for the average person.

Wall Street and corporate America are more profitable than ever. How in God’s name is this necessary? People are badly squeezed enough. If somebody wants to work people past the standard forty, they should have to compensate them accordingly.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at May 13, 2013 1:24 PM
Comment #365837

Stephen

I prefer flexible work hours. Many men do. In my experience, even more woman want flexibility. Give us the choice.

Posted by: CJ at May 13, 2013 7:30 PM
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