Labor Committee Approves Anti-Employer Measures
The legislature’s Labor and Public Employees Committee has approved a number of anti-employer measures, including legislation restricting shift scheduling.
SB 227 requires employers in the retail, restaurant, hotel, or long-term care facilities with 25 or more employees or franchisees to post employee schedules 14 days in advance.
The committee approved the bill, which includes a range of financial penalties, on a party line vote March 10.
The bill imposes a series of new administrative burdens on employers—disproportionately target small businesses—a troubling trend that ignores the state’s sluggish economy and anemic job growth.
For each prospective employee, an employer is expected to determine employee preferences regarding the days, hours and locations they like to work.
Employers will also be required to provide an estimated number of weekly hours to employees.
Should the employer fail to meet those estimates, they will be prohibited from hiring additional employees without being subjected to additional financial penalties.
SB 227 was not the only bill that will negatively impact job creators.
HB 5383, which requires employers to disclose salary ranges for vacant positions to employees or applicants upon request was also approved on a party line vote.
The bill includes language mandating employers provide equal pay for “comparable work” rather than equal pay for equal work.
This language undermines the merit-based pay systems and prevents employers from compensating employees differently based upon productivity or late shifts and increased travel.
Call Center Notices
The committee approved, again on a party line vote, a bill requiring call centers or businesses that provide phone customer service that close or relocate a portion of their workforce to provide 100 days notice.
Under HB 5273, employers that fail to meet the notice requirements face a penalty of $10,000 for each day less than 100 days notice to employees.
CBIA also opposed this measure, arguing it will do more to prevent another call center from opening in Connecticut than it will to prevent the centers from leaving.
The committee also approved the following measures:
- HB 5386: Increases penalties for violating a stop work order by an additional $500 for each day of violation.
- HB 5388: Modifies the statutes on discrimination and protected classes to include discrimination against hairstyles involving braids, locks and twists.
- SB 350: Requires the dominant prevailing wage rate in a municipality be used for contracts in lieu of a hearing to determine that wage.
- HB 5271: Places additional requirements on workplace lactation rooms provided there is no undue hardship on the employer, like access to an electrical outlet and the ability for an employee to bring their own portable cold storage unit.
Given the impact the coronavirus pandemic is having on the legislative session, it is unclear whether the committee will meet again to act on additional legislation.
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