FLSA Working Hours Reform: Worker Well‐Being Effects in an Economic Framework

33 Pages Posted: 15 Sep 2015

See all articles by Lonnie Golden

Lonnie Golden

Pennsylvania State University - Abington College; Economic Policy Institute; Project for Middle Class Renewal

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Date Written: October 2015


This article discusses a model developed to predict the effects of recently proposed amendments to the FLSA workweek and overtime provisions. The model contrasts allowing compensatory time for overtime pay for private nonexempt employees to “rights to request” reduced hours. Hours demanded are likely to rise for workers who request comp time, undermining the intention of family‐friendliness and alleviating overemployment, unless accompanied by offsetting policies that would prevent the denied use or forced use of comp time and that resurrect some monetary deterrent effect. A unique survey shows that the preference for time over money and comp time is relatively more prevalent among exempt, long hours and women workers; thus, worker welfare is likely better served if comp time were incorporated into an individualized, employee‐initiated right to request.

Suggested Citation

Golden, Lonnie, FLSA Working Hours Reform: Worker Well‐Being Effects in an Economic Framework (October 2015). Industrial Relations: A Journal of Economy and Society, Vol. 54, Issue 4, pp. 717-749, 2015, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2660538 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/irel.12112

Lonnie Golden (Contact Author)

Pennsylvania State University - Abington College ( email )

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Economic Policy Institute ( email )

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Project for Middle Class Renewal ( email )

1408 W. Gregory Dr.
Urbana, IL 61801
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