Lawmakers should place limits on on-call staffing practices
My name is Elon McDonald and I was born and raised in Hartford. I have grown up here, attended school here. Now I am starting my career, and trying to become the best person I can be.
During 2017 and 2018, I was working two jobs, at Amazon, at one of their warehouses, and at Stop and Shop in numerous positions, from clerk to supervisor. Now, the reason I looked for another job is because at that time Stop and Shop was not paying me enough to pay for my bills as an adult, from clothes to rent, so I made the choice to work at Amazon and adjust my work schedule.
This, however, proved to be much harder than I imagined. Amazon wants its workers to be on call. You don´t know when you have to be available, and the company is not willing to work with its employees to accommodate shifts. It became a constant challenge, as they often called me in for shifts that conflicted with my other job. I had to live with an eye on my phone, unable to ever plan for anything.
If this was hard for me, I can imagine how much harder it is on workers with children, or a parent they need to take care of, another job, or something that it is important to them.
It is time for the state to put limits on these practices. The legislature is currently debating bills that would limit on-call scheduling, (S.B. 764 and H.B. 6924) letting employees like me have the chance to know when they will have to go to work. Instead of scrambling day to day with class schedules, care for loved ones, or different responsibilities, we will be able to plan ahead, instead of living from shift to shift.
Elon McDonald lives in Hartford.
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