Legislation restricting how Connecticut businesses schedule work shifts will negatively impact both and employers and employees.

While HB 6924 is currently a one-line concept, the Labor and Public Employees Committee heard testimony on the proposal during a Feb. 26 public hearing.

Introduced by committee co-chair Rep. Robyn Porter (D-New Haven), the bill prohibits on-call employment and requires that employers provide at least 24-hour notice of shift changes.

The committee is not required to give the measure a second public hearing after it becomes a fully drafted bill.  

CBIA's Eric Gjede told the committee that in most circumstances employers can provide ample notice of scheduled shifts, although the 24-hour notice provision is not an option for some industries.

"On-call employment positions are a critical component of certain industries that are unable to determine their labor needs in advance," Gjede testified.

"Employers may not have the resources, equipment, or materials needed for segments of their workforce to work on a particular day."

Unintended Consequences

The change also makes it difficult for employers to adjust for unexpected employees absences.

"Without on-call scheduling, daycare centers, for example, may be unable to meet their state-mandated student-to-teacher ratio if an emergency arises for a parent or teacher," Gjede said.

"Builders may be forced to pay workers to install materials that have not yet been delivered to the job site."

Mandating that certain industries commit to certain staffing levels in advance will also force employers to take a financial loss during periods when business is either slower or busier than expected, he said.

The bill also impacts employees. In municipalities like San Francisco that restrict scheduling, studies show employers hire fewer part-time workers and schedule fewer employees per shift.

"We urge the committee to take no action on HB 6924," Gjede said.

A similar measure failed three times during last year's General Assembly session: in two legislative committees and then on the floor of the state Senate.

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

Filed Under: Employment Law

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