Some lawmakers in Washington are decreeing that a job "perk" available to government workers should be denied to those in the private sector.
Since 1985, federal law has permitted public-sector workers who are on the job more than 40 hours a week to choose between being paid time-and-a-half wages for the additional labor, or taking time off with pay as compensation. That can be helpful to employees in any number of situations.
Recently, the House of Representatives approved a bill that would allow workers in the private sector to trade overtime pay for time off from the job weeks or even months after they earn the credit. Current law requires that such "compensatory time off" be used within the pay period. That severely restricts the value of the benefit for workers.
But liberals in the Senate say they will not approve the bill. President Barack Obama has vowed that if it reaches his desk, he will veto it.
As long as safeguards are in effect to ensure employers do not pressure workers to take time off rather than overtime pay, what's the problem? Senators and Obama should give private-sector workers a choice, too.