ARLENE VIOLET - Another company-killing proposal rises in Assembly

ARLENE VIOLET - Another company-killing proposal rises in Assembly

Quick question: Who sponsors legislation that would require employers to give their employees at least two weeks’ notice of their work schedules and, if any boss fails to do so, fine him upwards of $500? But wait – there’s more!, as the old Ginsu knife ad promised. The employee must pay additional wages for a minimum of four hours at time and one half. Suppose an employee is late for the next shift in a restaurant and the day waiter has to stay on for an extra 20 minutes. For that, the day waiter gets four hours compensation and the late worker gets paid too, in addition to the regular compensation when the employee agrees to cover an absence of a fellow employee. The employee can also refuse.

But there’s more! The employee can bring a civil action against the employer if he/she feels that there is discrimination afoot in being called back to work or that the employer isn’t following the notice rules.

And there’s more! An employee has a right to request a modified work schedule, additional shifts or work hours. But there’s more! If you last a year in the job your pay must be raised in accordance with the cost of living. And there’s more! Employers must offer overtime to existing employees (thereby triggering the increased pay) before the boss can hire anyone else.

So, I’ve kept you in the dark long enough. The sponsors of this abominable job busting legislation are Democrats Anastasia Williams, Scott Slater, both of Providence, Shelby Maldonado of Central Falls and Aaron Regunberg of Providence. It’s easy to see why each of these sponsors is out of touch with reality. Both Williams and Slater have longstanding political jobs in the city of Providence. Maldonado is a business administrator of a union, U.A. Local 51, and Rugenberg, age 26, is an organizer for Providence Student Union.

It is infuriating to see people who have little or no experience in the private sector dictate terms of employment to business folks who usually devote at least 60 hours a week to keep the business afloat. There is certain arrogance to these know-it-alls who presume to levy fines on hard working citizens who don’t have a godfather who put them in a cozy job. Gov. Gina Raimondo has a herculean task in attracting businesses here since her own political party is ignorant of what sacrifices small businesses make to subsist.

These legislators fail to see how this system can be abused. Some years ago, a substantial number of Cumberland High School teachers, unhappy with the raises in the collective bargaining agreement, perpetuated a “round robin” of absences so their colleagues could “watch over the class on what would be teacher prep time so they could bolster their checks for “minding” the students who were missing the classes. It would be easy to do such a scheme in the private sector particularly when fines are hanging over owners’ heads and all the power is with the employee.

Hopefully, the Speaker of the House will show some mercy on the small business owners that politicians’ rhetoric – but not their actions – seem to embrace. If this bill gets passed, Gov. Raimondo should veto it. Meanwhile, it’s replacement time this November for these politicians. Otherwise, pass around the Ginsu knife so small business owners can slit their wrists.

Violet is an attorney and former state attorney general.

Comments

These idiots call this advocacy for their constituents. How do they figure that they help the employees by putting companies out of business. Small wonder it is sooooo difficult to not lob extreme insults and abuse at these state reps. I wish their rational colleagues would pull them aside and tell them what a stupid idea this is instead of letting the bill get filed so everyone can see how out of touch with reality they are. And, of course, consider the massive waste of time that this and so many other stupid bills are that get filed and considered each year. How can citizens feel respect for a legislative body that does these things each year against the best interests of the state. God help us.

It is completely reasonable that my employer be expected to notify me in advance of the hours I am expected to work. And it is completely reasonable that they be punished if they do not do so. If not protected, workers rights quickly erode. Why shouldn't our pay increase along with the cost of living? Shouldn't we expect that our wages be enough to put food on the table and a roof over our heads? Ms. Violet, I usually appreciate your opinion, but I have to say I'm baffled by the bitter outrage directed at Rhode Island's hard working citizens.

But I won't because the Breeze would never allow it...and most people, even of only average intelligence, probably feel the exact same way!

However...at least let me say: THEY ARE IDIOTS...and are elected year after year after year by even WORSE IDIOTS!

Last year the Senate voted to approve a toll bill without knowing what they were voting on, and more recently voted to regulate your neighbors trees. Nothing surprises me. We need term limits, but that will never happen.

......IS the answer, but as you wrote, Mr. Flynn, it "will never happen----at least NOT in the near future.

Speaking of STUPID bills......how about the most recent one where people would get fined $500 if their leaves/debris fall/fell in their neighbors' yards!

As I had previously written, the LIBERALS must want all the trees cut down for them to be able to prove GLOBAL WARMING!

If people would educate themselves regarding whom they vote for instead of looking for the GIMME-GIMMES, we would probably have a better Statewide leadership system.

AMEN!