A bill requiring employers to post their employees’ schedules 21 days in advance or risk a “predictability pay” tax already failed this session but could be revived.
HB 6933 is receiving support from two key Democratic legislative leaders but facing opposition from a coalition of business organizations including CBIA and chambers of commerce.
Job creators from all types of industries are reacting to the bill’s potential impact.
Gerry Pastor, the owner of several Connecticut daycare centers believes the bills will be problematic for the childcare industry. His industry faces constantly changing workplace needs.
Every day, some children enroll in his daycare facilities, unenroll in the facilities, or need to be dropped off earlier or later than anticipated.
Pastor says he must always maintain enough staffing coverage to ensure he meets the state-mandated student to teacher ratio. “Being out of ratio is by far one of the most serious violations a childcare program can be cited for--even for a second.”
So, maintaining the ratio, while responding to the fluctuations in daily student and staff levels, makes compliance with the 21 days-in-advance scheduling requirement in HB 6933 logistically impossible.
Same for the construction industry.
“Requiring a mandatory three week work schedule would be impossible for an industry such as construction that is by nature unpredictable,” says Chris Syrek, president of Associated Builders and Contractors of Connecticut.
“There are many moving pieces on a jobsite, says Syrek. “If one subcontractor is four days behind schedule, the contractor who is waiting for them to finish has absolutely no control over when they can start their portion of the job.”
And for hospitals, “great variability and unpredictability in the volume of emergency visits, ambulatory and inpatient volumes .. demands a different staffing model to assure that the highest quality and safest care is given at all times,” said Hartford Healthcare in testimony to the Labor Committee.
Even the state of Connecticut can’t comply with HB 6933.
The state’s Judicial Branch, Stephen Ment said, operates two 24/7 juvenille detention centers and two 24/7 prisons.
All too frequently, “unexpected situations arise that make it necessary to hold over staff in order to meet” them,” he said. “Removing this ability would tie our hands, potentially imperiling the safety of those held in the facilities, as well as the safety of the staff operating these facilities.”
Lawmakers might respond by attempting to carve one industry after another from the bill. But if so many employers have to be carved out of a law, why adopt it?
Connecticut’s job creators are very good at accommodating both their employee’s needs and the requirements of their businesses.
We can do better. Instead of considering HB 6933, lawmakers should instead find ways to encourage a more business friendly atmosphere in the state.