How to Help Working People on Workers Memorial Day
Every year on April 28, the labor movement observes Workers Memorial Day to remember workers killed or injured on the job and to renew the fight for strong safety and health protections.
More than 50 years ago on April 28, the Occupational Safety and Health Act went into effect, promising every worker the right to a safe job—a fundamental right. The law was won because of the tireless efforts of the labor movement, which organized for safer working conditions and demanded action from the government. Since then, unions and our allies have fought hard to make that promise a reality—winning protections that have made jobs safer and saved lives.
But our work is not done. Each year, thousands of workers are killed and millions more suffer injury and illness because of dangerous working conditions that are preventable.
In Connecticut, the General Assembly is debating critical worker health and safety legislation that can prevent future injuries and illnesses.
Here's how you can help working people on Workers Memorial Day:
Put An End To Mandatory Overtime for Health Care Workers
Mandatory overtime and short staffing have led to nurses and health professionals taking on too many hours. This has caused a rise in health and safety risks for patients due to increased patient loads.
If passed and signed into law, this bill will:
- Prohibit mandatory overtime from being permitted in future collective bargaining agreements;
- Guarantee nurses receive at least 10 hours of rest between shifts (unless nurse volunteers);
- Ensure hospitals only use mandatory overtime in the event of an emergency if there is no reasonable alternative, &
- Does not prohibit nurses from volunteering to work additional hours.
Expand Paid Sick Days
All workers need - and deserve - access to paid sick time when they need to take short term time off from work to care for themselves or a family member.
Connecticut was the first state in the nation in 2011 to require employers of 50 or more to provide up to 40 hours of paid sick time to certain service workers. Now, Connecticut’s law has fallen behind the more than 15 states that have passed similar policies. During the pandemic, we are one of the only states in our region that has not provided emergency COVID-19 paid sick leave to workers.
Two bills this session, S.B. 312 and S.B. 422, strengthen access to paid sick days in our state.