A bill to ease the impact of a Supreme Court ruling that public employes must be paid cash for overtime work won easy approval in the House yesterday.
The bill, similar to a measure passed by the Senate last week, would let state and local governments pay their employes overtime in either compensatory time off or cash, both at 1 1/2 times the regular rate.
The Supreme Court, in a decision involving the San Antonio transit authority, ruled earlier this year that state and local government employes must be paid cash for overtime instead of the traditional compensatory time off.
For months, state and local officials have been lobbying Congress for relief from the effects of the court's decision, saying the ruling would substantially increase labor costs.
The House bill, passed on a voice vote, provides a cap of 180 hours on compensatory time that can be accumulated by each worker, except for police and firefighters who would be able to accumulate up to 480 hours. Above those limits,employes would have to be paid cash.
The Senate bill limits compensatory time off to 480 hours for all public workers.
The Labor Department had intended to start enforcing the requirements of the court decision Oct. 15, but Labor Secretary William E. Brock postponed enforcement until Nov. 1 to give Congress time to consider changing the law. Brock has been asked to extend the deadline to give the two chambers time to work out their differences.