Capitol Correspondence - 07.30.18

House Introduces Workflex Proposal That Would Supersede State Leave Laws

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As shared by the U.S. House of Representative’s Committee on Education and Workforce in a press release on July 24, 2018:

“[The] Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions, chaired by Rep. Tim Walberg (R-MI), held a hearing to examine H.R. 4219, the Workflex in the 21st Century Act. 


Introduced by Rep. Mimi Walters (R-CA) in November 2017, the Workflex in the 21st Century Act would allow employers to offer their employees paid leave and a flexible work arrangement on a voluntary basis. 


“H.R. 4219 would give employers the voluntary option to establish a paid leave and flexible work benefit plan under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (‘ERISA’). The bill terms these benefit plans as ‘qualified flexible workplace arrangement plans.’ Employers that elect to offer such plans must meet a variety of minimum federal standards, and are subject to the overall regulatory and enforcement framework of ERISA,” [attorney Jon] Breyfogle [of the Groom Law Group] said. 

“In order to qualify as a Workplace Plan, employers must offer both a compensable leave benefit and a workflex benefit (workflex options include programs like biweekly work, compressed work schedules, telework, job sharing, flexible scheduling and predictable scheduling),” Breyfogle continued. 


Under the Workflex in the 21st Century Act, if an employer chose to offer his or her employees a qualifying benefits plan, then that employer would be exempt from complying with existing state and local paid leave mandates.”