While the final results on the labor front were good for Connecticut’s businesses, lawmakers once again invested a lot of time on proposals that would have put more jobs at risk.
Businesses were critically important in convincing legislators of the harm many bills could have caused their companies and the state’s overall economy. Two of the most damaging labor proposals went far into the legislative session but ultimately died.
Once again, mandatory paid time off (SB-63) was a signature issue for labor organizations and their advocates in the legislature. It would have made Connecticut the only state in the nation to mandate paid sick leave.
It also would have been too high a cost for many businesses struggling to stay alive. But the bill fortunately ran out of support and time at the end of the session. Advocates, however, are already publicly saying they intend to bring the proposal back next year.
Lawmakers also considered two harmful workers’ compensation measures, but both failed to gain approval. SB-61, which died at the end of the session, would have raised workers’ compensation costs dramatically. It took away employers’ ability to pre-approve routine medical examinations and treatments in workers’ compensation cases.
Worse, “routine” as defined in SB-61 was “anything recommended by a physician or surgeon”—an invitation to encourage all kinds of potential, costly treatments. Employers would be powerless to make sure that injured employees receive only the necessary and appropriate medical care they need in workers’ comp cases.
Another harmful workers’ comp measure was offered as an amendment to a different bill (SB-462) that concerned the recent explosion at a power plant in Middletown.
Trial attorneys pushed hard, but failed, to pass the amendment that would have drastically changed Connecticut’s workers’ comp system by undermining its role as the “exclusive remedy” for cases. The proposal would have allowed claimants to sue any subcontractors hired by a general contractor at a construction site.
CBIA continues to urge lawmakers to reject any proposals that would increase business costs. We also thank our many members who responded to the critical need to convince lawmakers of the harm these bills would have caused.
For more information, contact CBIA’s Kia Murrell at 860.244.1931 or firstname.lastname@example.org.