Labor and Public Employees Committee
JOINT FAVORABLE REPORT
AN ACT PROHIBITING "ON-CALL" SHIFT SCHEDULING FOR EMPLOYEES.
Joint Favorable Substitute
SPONSORS OF BILL:
Labor and Public Employees Committee
REASONS FOR BILL:
There is a direct need for employers to provide employees with at least 24 hours' notice of their working shifts.
**Substitute Language (LCO 5036) replaces the underlying bill and removes the following provisions: (a) provide employees with work schedules at least seven days in advance, (b) get an employee's written consent before changing the employee's work schedule, and (c) pay employees additional “predictability pay” if they changed schedules without sufficient advance notice.
RESPONSE FROM ADMINISTRATION/AGENCY:
Senator Ted Kennedy, Jr., 12th Senate District
The bill provides protection against the unfair and abusive practice known as “On Call” shift scheduling. This affects thousands of Connecticut workers the ability to hold or pursue other paid positions while they are “on hold” for a job that uses “on-call”. Arranging child care is also difficult because of the unpredictable work schedule as well as being able to count on a steady paycheck. The workers that are mainly impacted by “on-call” shift scheduling are employed at chain restaurants and large retailers, which employ many part-time, hourly workers in low-wage jobs. Much of Connecticut's job growth has occurred in these and other service industries.
NATURE AND SOURCES OF SUPPORT:
Mary Consoli, RN, BSN, Danbury Nurses' Union #47, AFT Connecticut Local 5047
Ms. Consoli has participated with collective bargaining meetings held to negotiate language regarding issues raised by members required to take mandatory call which is time worked over and above contracted control hours. She suggests language in the bill to address any impact or concerns pertaining to collective bargaining agreements that address “On-Call” shift scheduling, mandatory and/or voluntary.
Lori J. Pelletier, President, Connecticut AFL-CIO:
The Connecticut AFL-CIO supports SB 747 because unpredictable scheduling practices cause great difficulties for thousands of willing, hardworking employees.
Lindsay Farrell, Connecticut State Director, Working Families Organization:
Fair scheduling legislation is so critical to improving the lives of working people, particularly lower-wage workers.
Elizabeth Ben-Ishai, Ph.D, Senior Policy Analyst, Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) and the National Women's Law Center submitted testimony recommending the following substitute language:
“An employee, who by request or permission of the employer, reports for duty any day or is required to be available to work whether or not assigned to actual work, shall be compensated for a minimum of four hours earnings at his or her regular rate unless given adequate notice 24 hours prior to the beginning of the shift that the employees does not need to report to work. Such compensation shall apply when employer requires an employee to be available or “on-call” to work, and to contact the employer or its designee or wait to be contacted by the employer or its designee to determine whether the employee must report to work.”
By amending the state's existing statute on reporting pay it will better ensure compensation for employees subject to on-call shifts.
Luis Luna, worker organizer and Julio E. Lopez Varona, State Director of Make the Road CT
Ms. Luna and Mr. Varona from the Make the Road CCT both submitted testimony regarding issues with scheduling practices and suggested the same substitute language as Elizabeth Ben-Ishai, of the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) to be included in the bill.
Tom Swan, Executive Director Connecticut Citizen Action Group
Provided testimony in strong support of the bill which he states that by addressing these scheduling issues is a pro-family position and is only fair.
NATURE AND SOURCES OF OPPOSITION:
Eric Gjede, Counsel, Connecticut Business & Industry Association (CBIA)
The bill would require the general statutes be amended to prohibit on-call employment, and for employers to give employees at least twenty-four hours prior notice if the employee is not needed to work a scheduled shift. Mandating employers in certain industries commit to the size of their workforce in advance will also the employer take a financial loss during periods of time in which their business is slower or busier than expected.
Chris Syrek, President, Associated Builders & Contractors of Connecticut
The construction industry by nature has unpredictable schedules that can often change by the hour. The CT ABC would encourage members of the Labor Committee to consider the realities that business owners in certain industries face.
National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) Connecticut:
The legislation appears to be one-size-fits- all approach that may not be feasible for some employers, such as small businesses, namely restaurants, retailers, farmers, and manufacturers. There are also various longstanding federal and state labor laws already that adequately govern workplace scheduling matters.
Association of Connecticut Homecare Agencies (ACHA)
The requirements of this bill would be unmanageable for our industry. When agencies match a caregiver to a case, we must consider many factors, among those being schedules. Employees are free to accept or reject an assignment without fear of consequence. Agencies (and staff) get paid only when shift are worked.
Connecticut Hospital Association
The bill scheduling requirement will be problematic. Such scheduling requirements are not realistic for acute care hospitals and others in the healthcare environment. The very nature of acute care hospitals is unpredictable, requiring a great deal flexibility to ensure the safe care of patients. Patient census fluctuates, often dramatically, day-to-day and even within a given day.
Daniel Giungi, Senior Legislative Associate, Connecticut Conference of Municipalities (CCM)
These new mandates are impractical and would limit the flexibility needed by local officials to meet the constantly changing needs of municipalities.
The following organizations submitted testimony in Opposition due to the nature of their business of providing safe and appropriate health care services to patients/clients which requires the flexibility of last minute schedule changes:
● BrightStar Care
● Home Care Association of America
Reported by: Virginia Monteiro
Date: March 30, 2017