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Photo of Senator Ted Kennedy, Jr..

STATE SENATOR

Ted Kennedy, Jr.

Listening to You

Promoting Fair and Predictable Scheduling

I plan on reintroducing legislation I worked on last year to end the unfair labor practice known as "on-call" shift scheduling. On-call shift scheduling is a practice that requires hourly employees to keep an extended span of time, usually eight hours, open in their schedules with the expectation that they come prepared and available to work during that time period on very short notice. If not called into work, the employee is not paid, despite setting aside valuable time, and if they can't come to work they risk losing their job. This prevents them from finding additional work to supplement their income, and may mean they have to pay for childcare they don't need in anticipation of a job they were not called to do. I believe that we should eliminate this practice, or at the very least pay people a higher wage if they are forced to adhere to it.

On-call shift policies mainly impact workers in chain restaurants and at large retailers, which employ many part-time, hourly workers in low-wage jobs. Many businesses have begun to recognize that this practice lowers morale, increases turnover and is fundamentally unfair. In fact, several large retailers, including the Walt Disney Company and Abercrombie & Fitch, have recently announced that they would permanently stop their longtime practice of on-call scheduling. However, other large businesses lag behind and continue this abusive practice. We need to make Connecticut a more stable, fair place to work. I believe that my legislation addressing on-call shift scheduling will help do that.

Ensuring Prosthetic Parity in Insurance Coverage

We expect that our health insurance will cover the basic, fundamental things we need to maintain our health or recover from a health emergency. Unfortunately, this is not true for many people who require a prosthetic device. Constituents of the 12th Senatorial District have attended my office hours and requested that I introduce and advocate for legislation that will require that health insurance policies cover prosthetic devices.

As someone who has worn a prosthetic leg since childhood, I know how critical these devices are to regaining your independence following a health emergency. I plan on introducing a bill this year and fighting to see it passed so that no Connecticut resident will be denied coverage for a prosthetic by their health insurance provider. My goal is to ensure that all health plans in Connecticut cover most, if not all of the cost of a prosthetic. I will keep you updated as the session progresses and this issue develops.

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Fighting Cuts to Shoreline East

This week, I stood with my colleagues in opposition to cuts proposed by the Department of Transportation to Shoreline East. These cuts would end all off-peak and weekend service beginning July 1, 2018. Over 2,000 people use shoreline east to commute during the week, and hundreds more use the service on the weekend. This rail line is vital to the transportation infrastructure that drives the economy on Connecticut's shoreline. Cutting service does not solve a problem; it creates a new problem and moves our state in the wrong direction. We need to be investing in transportation infrastructure in our state and improving it, not slashing services and weakening our infrastructure. These cuts are a mistake and I was proud to stand against them.

shoreline east