Bill to Allow OH Small Businesses to Give Comp Days Instead of OT

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In Downtown Marietta, the Front Street Deli employees work hard during the lunch rush taking orders.

But right now, its illegal for the small shop's staff to swap overtime for time off.

Ohio State Representative Andy Thompson wants to do something about that, mostly so small business owners can avoid paying time and a half.

"In an economy where every business is hunkered down right now, as legislatures we're trying to be sensitive to those concerns and provide some flexibility and I guess some cost containment measures they can employ to stay viable," said Thompson who represents the 93rd house district.

Thompson has helped introduce a bill that would allow Ohio small business owners to substitute overtime pay for compensation hours if the employee agrees.

"I don't think it's controversial really, would labor unions object? I don't really know, I can't speak for them, but it seems like something that would be beneficial to employees and to employers."

But labor unions do object. The AFL-CIO opposes the bill, saying the overtime or time off question should be solved through collective bargaining.

Meanwhile, some Front Street business owners support the bill.

"It would help me financially and it would also help the employee. Because sometimes the employee wants off and on and hourly basis if they're not here then they're not supposed to be paid for it," said Asunta Damron, owner of my favorite things.

Right now, it's perfectly legal for larger businesses to give comp days instead of OT.

To Damron, that's just not fair.

"Big businesses can handle the overtime much better than what a small business can."

The bill is currently under review in a state house committee.

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