A bill impacting how employers schedule employee work shifts remains on the state Senate's calendar.

SB 747 directly threatens businesses in many industries from responding to changing customer demands or supply interruptions.

The bill requires employers, except for healthcare providers, to give not less than 24 hours notice to employees about their work shifts.

If an employer fails to provide this notice, the employee can, but is not obligated to work that shift.

SB 747 also calls for the state Department of Labor to adopt regulations to enforce the 24-hour requirement.

The current bill is better than the original draft, which called for an employer to provide 21 days notice of a shift, with any changes resulting in penalties equivalent to the employee’s hourly rate of pay.

Fortunately, these severe penalties were dropped before the bill was voted out of the legislature's Labor and Public Employees Committee.

However, even without the penalty, the bill remains impractical and unworkable for countless industries.

If an employer fails to provide at least 24 hours notice, the employee is not obligated to work that shift.
While there is no question that most employers prefer to provide 24 hours notice of an employee’s shift—and usually do—such a mandate leaves them unable to respond to emergencies or changes in critical materials or supplies.

For example, this bill makes it difficult for:

  • A daycare to call in another teacher to maintain required student to teacher ratios after a parent’s emergency request for childcare.
  • An appliance repair business to require a repairman to stay after their shift ends in order to finish a customer’s repair.
  • A plumbing business to respond to a customer’s late night pipe leak.
  • A builder trying to schedule his workers to install materials that were not delivered to the site on time.
  • A retailer or restaurant that wants to send an employee home because there were no customers on a particular day—or even worse, can’t call an employee in because they are so busy.
  • A utility company that needs to call in employees to address the effects of a storm.

The question becomes: 'Why restrict businesses in this way at all?'

Connecticut's economy lags the region and the nation in post-recession job recovery.

This is the worst possible time for lawmakers to add costly new restrictions on employers.

For more information, contact CBIA’s Eric Gjede (860.480.1784) | @egjede