Bill to offer more workplace flexibility led by Walters

Many American families who are looking to more easily juggle their career and personal responsibilities with flexible work schedules would see relief under workplace flexibility legislation introduced on Thursday by U.S. Reps. Mimi Walters (R-CA), Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) and Elise Stefanik (R-NY).

“As our kids grow up and our parents age, being able to adjust work schedules to accommodate personal responsibilities would be a tremendous help,” Walters said. “Under this bill, employees could spend more time with their families and in their communities, while working for an employer that understands their needs.”

The Workflex in the 21st Century Act would amend the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 to include a voluntary option for qualified flexible workplace arrangements. Employers who opt to provide flexible scheduling would be required to give all employees paid leave and the option to elect one of six flexibility options.

Those flexibility options include teleworking, job sharing, predictable scheduling, flexible scheduling, biweekly scheduling and compressed scheduling.

“The future of work is changing and this legislation recognizes that our workplace rules are outdated and limit the flexible options people seek today,” McMorris Rodgers said.

The bill specifies that the minimum amount of paid leave under a qualified plan will depend on the employer’s size and the employee’s years of service. Nothing would prohibit employers from offering more than the minimum paid leave time. There are no restrictions on how paid leave would be used.

“As a millennial,” Stefanik said, “one of the most common workforce demands from my generation is more flexibility in their work place.” She views the bill as a win-win for employers and employees.