Letter — Ivins did not do research
May 9, 2003
In her column Molly Ivins states “… creatively terrible ideas from the Republican party these days … the Family Time Workplace Flexibility Act … the Bush administration is leading the charge with proposed new rules that will erode the 40- hour work week … now protected by the Fair Labor Standards Act.” This is absolutely untrue.
A reading of the proposed act makes absolutely no mention of any “erosion” of the 40-hour work week, contextual or otherwise. No mention of losing overtime is mentioned; the act clarifies compensatory time off vs. payment of overtime, at the EMPLOYEE’S option, even going so far as to state that upon termination, employees shall be paid for accrued overtime at time and one-half. The bill is sponsored by several members of the Democrat party. This is, in fact, a plan specifically proposed by Democrat Bill Clinton.
In his 1997 State of the Union Address, he said, “We should pass [family] time so that workers can choose to be paid for overtime in income or trade it in for time off to be with their families.”
In a 1996 presidential debate, he said, “I’d also like to see the overtime laws change so that we could have some more [family] time so that at the discretion of the worker — if you earn overtime you could decide whether you want that time to be taken in cash or in time with your family if you’ve got a family problem.
The claims Ivins makes are absolutely without even the most specious of foundations or bases in fact, and appear to be a deliberate smear campaign against the president and his party. This is totally unjustified; the proposed act “gives” the Democrats exactly what they’ve said they wanted, and for this the Bush administration is vilified? This is irrational, and Ivins should issue an apology and retraction. Perhaps if she READ the proposed act before criticizing it, she’ be more credible as a spokeswoman.
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