Compiled By Tonya Vinas Both the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce support a House bill that would allow companies to offer time-off compensation for overtime. Currently the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), enacted in 1938, prohibits this in the private sector, requiring cash compensation. Although, government employees have had the option for years. The bill, which a House subcommittee is considering, would give an employee a time-off option equal to time-and-a-half if he or she chooses. An employee could still choose cash compensation. However, the time-off option would be available only if the employer chooses to offer it. "The key to this system is that it's completely voluntary on both sides -- neither employers or employees can be forced into comp-time agreements," says Sandy Boyd, NAM human resources policy assistant vice president. "Those who like the old system won't have to give it up, but those who place a greater value on flexibility as they balance work and family will have additional options for doing so." HR 1119, introduced by Rep. Judy Biggert (R-Ill.), removes obstacles of the FLSA, which was written when most of the U.S. workforce was male, and far fewer mothers worked outside of the home. U.S. Chamber member Houston Williams, chairman and CEO of PNS Inc., a California products and services provider to telecommunications companies, testified in favor of the bill March 12. Williams said that about 90% of his 125 employees have young families or are of childbearing age. HR 1119 would allow him to easily extend another benefit to his employees and improve their lives. "Would this change in law be earth shattering? No. But it is a common-sense step in the right direction to help employers create a more satisfied workforce," says Williams.