On-call scheduling unfair, bad for business and families

We all know Connecticut’s low wage workers and families struggle with stagnant, below-living wages. But there is another major injustice holding back opportunities to succeed: On-call scheduling. I have worked for two employers who abused this practice, regularly leaving me on the hook for days at a time.

Sometimes I would wait until 6 p.m. to find out if I would be called into a shift that very evening. As a 22-year-old living with my parents, this was a major inconvenience. Today, as a father with a mortgage, being subject to on-call scheduling would be economically crippling. 

On-call workers cannot plan their child care, health care, classes, and family life. Nor can they budget effectively, with unreliable paychecks. 

As a supervisor at a small locally owned grocery store with 35 employees, I am proud that we offer our workers predictable hours and wages, so that they can balance their lives and get ahead. My workplace’s predictable workweek leads to more productive workers who feel valued by their bosses. Isn’t it time Connecticut put that same value into all our working people? 

Legislators must pass "Fair Workweek" legislation and eliminate low-wage, on-call scheduling. It’s not only the right thing to do, it’s good for business.

James Burke

New London

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