Legislation drastically restricting how employers schedule employee shifts has failed for a third time this General Assembly session.

The state Senate rejected SB 318 May 1 on a 16-20 vote, with Democrats Joan Hartley (Waterbury) and Gayle Slossberg (Milford) joining all Republicans in opposing the measure.

The bill required businesses in the restaurant, retail, lodging, and other select industries to pay one-half of an employee's regular pay if a shift is cancelled or reduced within 24 hours of its scheduled start.

Having failed already in two legislative committees, the shift scheduling mandate surfaced unexpectedly in the Senate when Sen. Marilyn Moore (D-Bridgeport) replaced the language of an unrelated bill.

Last-Minute Amendment

Business advocates, including CBIA, scrambled to react to the last-minute amendment and lobbied against the bill during its multi-hour debate in the Senate.

Senate Republican President Len Fasano (North Haven) was among those lawmakers who spoke against the shift scheduling mandate.

We're the only state who did not bring back all jobs lost in the recession. Why? These types of bills.
— State Sen. Len Fasano
"We're the only state in the country who did not bring back all jobs lost in the recession," he said. "The only state in the country. Why?

"If we're the only state in the country that has not recouped the lost jobs, there's got to be a reason. These types of bills are the reason."

Lack of Support

The scheduling restriction mandate first appeared in the Labor and Public Employees Committee, which failed to act on it.

It then resurfaced as SB 321 in the Committee on Children, failing on a 6-7 vote March 15.

CBIA's Eric Gjede said most employers already provide adequate notice of shifts, noting that many industries, including construction and childcare, rely on the ability to call in workers because fluctuating demands make it difficult to determine labor needs in advance.

In a session where lawmakers have acted on few bills that help businesses grow Connecticut's economy, it was disheartening that so much time was spent on a measure that repeatedly failed thorough lack of support.

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

Filed Under: Employment Law

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