DENVER (KDVR) — Lawmakers are trying to make sure workers in certain sectors are protected from surprise schedules at work.
While employees are coming out in handfuls to support the measure, some business organizations are trying to stop this bill from becoming law.
Committee members said 140 people signed up to speak on the “fair workweek” bill, detailing how it could help employees and what it would mean for businesses.
“At the very least, people deserve to know when they are going to be scheduled to work,” said state Rep. Serena Gonzales-Gutierrez, a co-sponsor.
Food, beverage, retail industries targeted
The bill would offer more worker protections by requiring employers in the food, beverage and retail industries with 250 or more employees to provide schedules two weeks in advance. They would also have to develop workweek expectation plans for each employee and pay an extra one to two hours of pay for last-minute schedule changes.
The Common Sense Institute is neutral on the bill, but they say the legislation could be costly for businesses covered under the bill when unplanned events lead to last-minute schedule changes.
“This is a significant portion of the workforce, a large portion of the employment base in these covered industries,” said Chris Brown, the institute’s vice president of policy and research.
“We built a model of the legislation and found that the direct cost to the employer with about 200 shift employees and about 15 non-shift employees — so a smaller covered business — this would cost between $2,200 and $5,800 per employee per year. Totaling between $500 and $10,000 in total costs,” Brown said.
Some organizations representing businesses covered in the bill have asked for industry exemptions.
Sponsor Rep. Emily Sirota said she feels the types of businesses listed in the bill are appropriate.