House Republicans Concerned About Impact of Controversial “Fair Work Week” Legislation, Request information from DOL

Posted on June 2, 2021


HARTFORD—House Republicans on Wednesday again questioned the logic of installing another mandate on businesses, particularly one that would affect the state’s struggling hospitality industry, and they’ve asked the state’s Department of Labor for specifics on how it interprets the scope of the “Fair Work Week Schedule” legislation from Democrats.

“The enormity of challenges faced by businesses over the last year should have caused the majority party to soften its infamous anti-employer posture, but instead we’ve seen an opportunistic push from its influential Progressives who during this closed-door legislative session are doubling down on their customary effort to squeeze people who create jobs,” House Republican Vincent Candelora said. “We have to work with our state’s employers, not against them. Yet here we are, on the doorstep of a vote on S.B. 668, a bill that will only make worse Connecticut’s reputation as a place where it’s difficult to run a business.”

House Republicans have asked Department of Labor (DOL) Commissioner Kurt Westby how his agency would interpret provisions of An Act Concerning a Fair Work Week Schedule. The bill, passed in the senate by a 20-16 vote, would require employers with 500 or more employees globally, and restaurants with 30 restaurants and more than 500 employees globally, to provide employees with 7 days advanced notice of their work schedules.

“The way this legislation is written, it’s reasonable to ponder the types of unintended consequences that could arise,” Candelora said Tuesday. “Depending on how DOL interprets a word such as ‘globally,’ this bill could apply to nonprofit employers and organizations such as the YMCA or the American Red Cross, leaving them in the same unfortunate predicament as local owners of restaurant franchises who will play a critical role in our economic recovery.”

Additionally, Candelora has asked DOL what types of information it currently has at its disposal to interpret and enforce the legislation—and if it doesn’t have what it needs, to provide specifics on how it intends to collect and maintain such information to do so.

“A sustained economic recovery requires most everyone in the legislature to row in the same direction, but unfortunately that just isn’t happening,” Candelora said. “There’s a growing group of people at the capitol who view the business community as a problem that needs to be solved when the reality is that it’s the very group we need to lead us toward prosperity.”