Is Connecticut Pricing Itself Out of Job Market?
It’s no secret that Connecticut has some of the highest costs of doing business in the United States. Lower-cost states are happily reminding local companies of that fact.
Our latest wake-up call is recent word from the state’s largest employer that it has doubts about its long-term future in Connecticut. But phones are ringing in the offices of many other businesses in the state as well, with recruiting calls from competitor states.
What will the legislature do this year —create more job opportunities for Connecticut’s residents or help our competition by making business costs even higher?
Case in point
Two of these costly proposals would make Connecticut the first state in the nation to mandate paid time off in the midst of the worst economic downturn in years.
Others would significantly hike workers’ compensation costs and put businesses at risk for much higher costs to defend potential discrimination cases.
Mandatory paid time off
Instead of making a bad bill go away, the Labor Committee this week added a second mandatory paid-time-off bill. SB-172 was completely rewritten to create a mandate on home healthcare agencies to provide a paid-time-off policy.
It joins SB-63, also approved by the committee, that requires Connecticut businesses with 50 or more employees to provide a minimum of one hour paid time off for every 40 hours worked.
Whether it targets a single industry, as SB-172 appears to, or is an all-out mandate on employers, like SB-63, legislation that imposes more mandates on already struggling businesses sends a bad message.
States trying to lure Connecticut companies are staying away from enacting mandates like this that would increase business costs and make their states less attractive to economic development and job growth.
Other anti-jobs bills
The committee also approved HB-5206, which will allow discrimination claimants to bypass the state’s review process through the Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities, and take those cases prematurely to court.
The proposal is designed to directly benefit trial attorneys but in the process will make businesses vulnerable to much higher litigation costs—something they cannot afford.
Also approved was SB-61, which will significantly increase workers’ comp costs by blocking employers from making sure that injured employees get only the necessary and appropriate medical care in workers’ comp cases. The proposal defies common sense and also wrongly assumes employers have deep pockets.
Other harmful Labor Committee proposals died in the committee this week. These include:
- SB-94, which would have restricted flexibility in payroll processes by allowing employees to opt in and out of chosen payroll methods;
- SB-169, which would have required employers to issue a notice of termination in all cases or face a penalty,;
- SB-240, which mandated the use of the flawed E-Verify system.
For more information about labor issues, contact CBIA’s Kia Murrell at 860.244.1931 or email@example.com.
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