Tired of your shift changing at work? Rep. DeLauro co-sponsors shift change bill

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Rep. Rosa DeLauro wants to crack down on companies that switch workers' shifts.

A new bill would require a schedule two weeks in advance. If a worker's shift is changed or canceled, they would get paid part of the salary.

DeLauro's co-sponsor on the bill is Sen. Elizabeth Warren.

"People cannot live their lives without some certainty and stabilization in their lives about their work schedule," says DeLauro.

The bill says when an employee is hired, an employer must provide an initial work schedule and an estimate of the number of hours the employee can expect to work each week. Thereafter, the employer must provide the employee with an updated work schedule two weeks in advance of the first shift on the schedule.

The bill also introduces "predictability pay" for last-minute changes or cancellations. When someone's shift changes within the two-week period, the employer is required to provide an additional hour of pay for each changed shift that doesn't involve a loss of hours. Or, the employer must pay for half the hours not worked when a shift is reduced or canceled.

Finally, "split-shift pay" is part of the bill -- where if an employee is required to work a shift with nonconsecutive hours with a break of more than one hour between periods, the employer is required to pay a premium for the shift that is equivalent to one hour of pay.

DeLauro and Warren tried to pass the bill two years ago, but were unsuccessful. They'll try to pass a similar bill next year, but that version will probably only require one week's notice.

The idea is not popular with restaurants, which often feel it's nearly impossible to know how many people they'll need two weeks out.

"Those restaurants and establishments that have an outdoor grove -- an outdoor patio -- that might get washed out on a day like today, but have a bunch of workers come in because they thought, maybe, it would be sunny out," said state Rep. Joe Polletta at a March legislative hearing.

But it could offer relief to workers like Yadira Martinez, who works at a McDonald's in Milford and is trying to raise two kids.

"Sometimes I have a day off and then they call me and tell me I have to be there to work at 8," she told News 12 through a translator. "Or sometimes I'm scheduled to work at 7 in the morning and then they call me and tell me no, I don't have to come in till later. So it's something very up in the air."

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