The first few days of the new Connecticut legislative session are, dare I say it, kind of fun from an outsider perspective. That is, if you know what you are looking at.
Why? Because it’s the time when legislators start submitting “proposed” bills. But these proposals are far from polished products. Sometimes, these proposals are done to satisfy constituents. Other times, they are submitted to get the issue discussed before a committee.
Either way, they can raise a few eyebrows.
Take Proposed Bill No. 5267. This proposal would require “the Labor Department to develop and promulgate an employers’ bill of rights”. Why? It would “serve to protect employers from frivolous complaints and claims brought by employees.”
My friend, Jon Hyman — who actually wrote a book entitled “The Employer Bill of Rights” — ought to love this one. Unfortunately, the substance of the proposal is basically confined to the line I just mentioned. No specifics. But here are some that Jon has suggested:
The Right to Hire on Qualifications;
The Right to Fire on Performance;
The Right to Control Operations:
Alas, I think the Connecticut proposal is the beginning and end of such an idea.
The opposite of the above proposal is Proposed Bill No. 5080. This proposal would amend state statutes to require retail stores to close on certain holidays unless it allows its employees to decline to work such holidays without penalty. Call it the Kmart effect; Kmart opened before breakfast on Thanksgiving.
It’s still early though. These bills will be discussed at today’s legislative committee meeting. There are lots more proposals coming down the road. Among the other items on the committee’s agency “an act concerning the use of credit histories in employment decisions” and “an act concerning healthy workplaces”.
Pull up a chair. The next few months ought to be interesting.