Martha Marx


Martha Marx



February 14, 2023


To counter worker burnout in many fields, which she has experienced firsthand in her work as a nurse, State Senator Martha Marx (D-New London) has introduced legislation to the General Assembly that seeks to protect workers’ work-life balance and mental health and hoped to prevent burnout. Utilizing a simple change in language, Sen. Marx hopes the bill would close a loophole that can be used in worker scheduling to require staff to work 12 days in a row, outside of intent of language.

Senate Bill 489, “An Act Limiting The Days An Employer Can Mandate An Employee To Work,” would amend state statutes to prohibit an employer from mandating an employee to work more than six consecutive days without a day off during a seven-day week, moving away from language stating “work week” and toward traditional calendar weeks.

“In the past, I’ve worked in positions that followed current law to the letter, but not the intent. Despite legislation that is meant to require employers to give staff at least one day off every week, some schedulers take advantage of the law’s phrasing of ‘work week.’ They’ll stack two six-day work weeks together, so that on a ‘work week’ of Sunday to Saturday, they’ll schedule Monday to Saturday and Sunday to Friday weeks back-to-back, forcing workers to work 12 days in a row without a break,” said Sen. Marx. “This legislation makes a simple change to state statutes; it removes the word ‘work week,’ adjusting the law’s letter to match intent and prevent workers from being mandated to work six days in a row. It’s a simple fix that can provide significant relief to many workers.”

According to the Department of Labor and OSHA, long work hours without breaks can increase the risk of injuries and accidents on the job and can contribute to poor worker health, increased stress and worker fatigue, which increases potential levels of stress and illness a worker may experience.

Most states’ laws, including Connecticut’s, allow employers to require workers to work as many as 12 days in a row without days off. There is precedent for laws such as the one introduced by Sen. Marx; in 2022, Illinois passed revisions to the “One Day Rest In Seven Act” requiring employers to provide workers with one 24-hour day of rest in every seven-day period, making the same change as introduced by this bill.