Trenton’s next overreach: ‘restrictive scheduling’ regulations for your employer

By Matt Rooney

It almost seems like a bad joke but it’s very, very real, Save Jerseyans. It’s also proof that the line between “progressivism” and full-blown socialism/communism is extremely blurry and often illusory.

I’m referring to the latest legislative effort of state Senator “Sleepy” Loretta Weinberg (D-Bergen): S109.

What does it do?

What doesn’t it do.

The legislation – which Weinberg held a press conference to tout on Wednesday – REQUIRES New Jersey employers to consider work schedule change requests from employees without fear of ‘retaliation.’ It also mandates, quoting the bill’s explanatory statement, that “an employer of any retail, food service, or cleaning employee may make work schedule changes as needed, including by offering additional hours of work to the employee beyond those previously scheduled, but an employer must provide one extra hour of pay at the retail, food service, or cleaning employee’s regular rate for each shift that is changed with less than 24 hours’ notice, except in the case of the need to schedule the employee due to the unforeseen unavailability of an employee previously scheduled to work that shift.” [Emphasis added.]

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. This is a big, sweeping piece of legislative overreach.

Trenton already over-regulates the state’s private sector and imposes killer minimum wage laws; now Trenton is officially inserting itself in business owners’ scheduling decisions. We’ve seen a version of this bill surface before (over three years ago) when Chris Christie was governor. Job creators stand no chance with Phil Murphy at the helm.

The consequences for New Jersey’s already anemic, weak, still-below-2008-level workforce are catastrophic.

“Senator Weinberg’s so-called “Schedules That Work Act,” would be totally unworkable, inflexible, and expensive for small business owners. The big-box stores may be able to juggle under a mandate that is better named “restrictive scheduling,” but the independent hardware, a caterer, or a restaurant on Main Street cannot,” responded Laurie Ehlbeck, state director of the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) in New Jersey.

“This legislation will not help employees as its intended, but instead is likely to result in them losing hours or jobs. When small businesses are struggling to cover shifts and are forced to pay out premiums for unanticipated changes, it will difficult and expensive. They may lay off workers due to the increased costs, or possibly turn to automation and eliminate jobs,” Ehlbeck added. “In large part, small business owners do try to arrange mutually beneficial schedules, but impossible to predict the unpredictable. The business could lose customers if it is unable to have needed staff to cope with those situations.”

Click here to read the full bill.

Then tell me this isn’t communism in sheep’s clothing.