Four-day work week may become as reality for many employees in California. California is trying to become the first state in the United States to make four-day workweek a state law.

State legislators are working to enact law that will make 32-hours workweek mandatory for companies having more than 500 workers. Moreover, there will be no cuts in employee wages. In addition, the workers working overtime will be compensated at a rate of more than 1.5 times of regular pay. A typical workday will comprise of standard 8 eight hours. The bill named AB2932 states that 12 hours past the 32-hour cutoff would require double the normal wage. There will be no docking in pay for working less than 32 hours. However, the bill under consideration does not address workers working under a collective bargain agreement.

Change in work schedule is inevitable

State Assembly members Cristina Garcia and Evan Low proposed the bill last week. “It doesn’t make sense that we are still holding onto a work schedule that served the Industrial Revolution.” Democratic Assembly member Cristina Garcia, one of the bill’s sponsors said in a statement. Moreover, she said that a change in working schedule is necessary in light of phenomena like “Great Resignation”. Last year, nearly 48 million American workers quit their jobs and the trend is continuing. “There has been no correlation between working more hours and better productivity.” Garcia added to her statement. U.S. employees put in more work hours every year than workers in most other industrial nations. On average, an American worker works for nearly 1,800 hours per year. This is according to data of International Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.

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    Support and critics

    Supporters of the bill say that productivity is not dependent on working hours. Since COVID-19 many companies are trying hybrid work models to address concerns related to employee well-being. The bill which is likely to affect nearly 2,600 companies in California. Contrary to proponents, there is some criticism on the bill as well. The California Chamber of Commerce has termed it a “job killer”. Moreover, they say that this work arrangement will make hiring more expensive and lead to a drop in jobs across the state.

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