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Photo of Senator Ted Kennedy, Jr..

STATE SENATOR

Ted Kennedy, Jr.

Listening to You

Promoting Predictability and Stability in Work Schedules

I recently testified in support of SB 747, a bill I introduced to end the unfair and abusive labor practice known as "on-call" shift scheduling.

"On-call" shift scheduling is an employment policy used by many retailers, big box stores and restaurants, that requires hourly workers to hold their days and hours open in case they may be required to come to work, with no guarantee or promise that they will be needed.

If they are not called into work, employees are not paid, despite setting aside their time. If they are called at the last minute, they are expected to report to work as soon as possible, frequently within the hour. On-call shift policies impact many part-time, hourly workers in low-wage jobs, primarily in the service industry.

labor bill

By not giving their employees a reasonable amount of time, say 24 hours, before they are scheduled to work, employers are causing tremendous stress, uncertainty and anxiety. Employees cannot count on a steady paycheck, cannot seek another job and have trouble arranging for child care on such short notice.

Thankfully, many businesses, such as the Walt Disney Company and Abercrombie & Fitch, have recognized the fundamental unfairness of "on-call" shift scheduling and have recently announced that they would permanently stop this practice. However, other large businesses lag behind. We need to make Connecticut a more stable, family-friendly and fair place to work.

We all benefit when employees are able to do the best job they can, and that's why I am working to pass SB 747 and provide more schedule predictability and stability.

Requiring Accuracy and Transparency in Health Plan Provider Network Lists

I was recently joined in Hartford by several shoreline medical professionals who testified in support of SB 546, a bill I introduced to ensure the accuracy of health insurer provider lists. Many of my constituents are confused and misled by the current system of health provider directories, which do not indicate if a network provider is, in fact, available to see a new patient on an outpatient basis.

health care

This has led Connecticut health insurance policy holders to have to call dozens of providers in a desperate attempt to find someone who can provide needed care. My bill makes a simple change to ensure that provider directories are more accurate and user-friendly, enabling more patients to get the care that they need in a timely, efficient way.

Cutting Taxes on Contractors and Other Small Business Owners

I have introduced legislation, SB 736, to exempt work trucks from being taxed as luxury vehicles.

Under current Connecticut law, all vehicles that cost over $50,000 must pay a luxury tax of 7.75 percent, regardless of whether the vehicles are used exclusively for business purposes.

Many small business owners in my district, such as plumbers, electricians and contractors, use work trucks that frequently cost much more than $50,000, especially if the vehicles are customized and modified for their work. These vehicles are certainly not "luxuries."

We need a more common sense approach to our tax policies to allow small businesses to grow and succeed.