Engineering Inc. - July/August 2003 - (Page 10)

ACEC INTERVIEW WITH Congressman John Boehner KoEgYreTOaACEC'S FLSARAND ,HEALTH INSURANCE worked continuously to reform REFORM AGENDA C n ssm n John Boehner -Ohio now in his seventh term, has the federal government since first being elected in 1990. In 1994, Boehner was part of the reform- minded Gang of Seven House members who uncovered and helped eliminate several questionable government practices, including the House Bank and cash-for-stamps deals at the House Post Office. And when House Republicans selected Boehner to chair the House Committee on Education and the Work- force January 2001 , he became even more important to engineering firms and their employees. His com- mittee acts on education and workforce issues are of great importance to ACEC members, such as the Fair F O R R E S T MACCORMACK Labor Standards Act and Association Health Plan legislation. Recently, Boehner discussed his reform initiatives with ACEC Chairman Eric Flicker and ACEC President Dave Raymond. ACEC CHAIRMAN ERIC FLICKER: S . C . , has introduced FLSA t i m e and time again from the door to more changes being Reforming the Fair Labor Stan- reform legislation S. 237 on employers that the current FLSA made. d a r d s Act FLSA has been a b e h a l f of ACEC that makes regulations are outdated and do F L I C K E R : C o u l d you tell us major priority for ACEC for a important improvements in the n o t reflect the realities of the about the new comp time bill? number of years now. Current Act's application to engineering modern-day workplace. law has failed to keep pace with f i r m s . I n addition to broad The General Accounting B O E H N E R : T h e comp time the realities of today's engineer- reforms of the Act, do you agree Of f i c e recommended that the bill which is officially called ing workplace, making it diffi- that Congress also should con- Secretar y of Labor review and t h e Family Time Flexibility cult for firms to properly classify sider targeted reforms such as revise the white-collar exemp- A c t i s bipartisan, family- t h e i r employees as exempt or this to address concerns within tions, and I want to commend friendly legislation that would non-exempt. ACEC has worked specific industries? S e c r e t a r y Elaine Chao for give working Moms and Dads with the Department of Labor undertaking this initiative. BOEHNER: Yes, I agree that Con- the choice of earning time-and- on the proposed regulations that The Fair Labor Standards Act gress should consider targeted a - h a l f pay or time-and-a-half were released recently, and your h a d n't really changed much reforms to address specific con- off comp time for overtime c o m m i t t e e is addressing this since 1938. The workforce and cerns within certain industries. h o u r s worked. This choice is issue through legislation dealing workplace of the 21st Century From a political standpoint, it already available to workers in with comp time. How impor- is dramatically different than it would be virtually impossible to the public sector, and the bill tant is it to you that Congress was in 1938. We're looking at move any broad, comprehensive introduced by Rep. Judy Biggert a n d the administration take t h e classification of who's a FLSA reform bill through this R - I l l . , would extend that steps to update FLSA to better w h i t e - c o l l a r employee and Congress. We have had success, o p t i o n , with stronger new reflect today's workplace? w h o's a low-paid employee. however, in moving narrow, tar- employee protections, to the pri- How do you deal with that if it C O N G R E S S M A N JOHN BOEH- geted reforms that address one v a t e sector. This bill would isn't a regulatory issue? Fortu- NER: We've heard from witnesses specific issue under the FLSA. update the FLSA in an impor- nately, the Labor Department over the years that the Depart- Over the past 10 years, we have tant way, giving working parents wisely has decided to take it up. ment's regulations are too com- h a d several such bills enacted increased flexibility on the job. Bu t opponents of the private plex and that they're confusing i n t o law under a Democrat s e c t o r are going to do every- ACEC PRESIDENT DAVE RAY- to employers, employees, Labor P r e s i d e n t and even with a thing they can to try to kill this M O N D : Yo u r colleague in the Depar tment enforcement staff D e m o c r a t - c o n t r o l l e d Senate. because they think that if there S e n a t e , Lindsey Graham R- and the courts. And we've heard Clearly, that strategy is a more are any changes made, it opens l August 2003 1 0 E N G I N E E R I N G INC. J u l y

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Engineering Inc. - July/August 2003


Engineering Inc. - July/August 2003