California Lawmakers Propose 4-Day Workweek
Midsection Of Woman Hand Writing With Pen In Calendar - stock photo Poh Kim Yeoh / EyeEm via Getty Images
Poh Kim Yeoh / EyeEm via Getty Images

Lawmakers in California are considering implementing a 4-day workweek for large companies.

California legislators have introduced a new bill known as AB 2932 that would reduce the workweek from 40 hours to 32 hours — from five days to four days — for large companies with more than 500 employees. Any employee who works more than 32 hours would be paid time and a half. Employees would also be paid at the same rate as the original 40 hours, so it would give them a boost in their hourly pay.

The California State Assembly’s Labor and Employment Committee is supposed to make a decision on whether or not the legislation can continue, and it has to pass and then be signed into law before it would go into effect. If it does, the law would impact more than 2,600 businesses in the state.

There are 38 companies in the U.S. and Canada trying out a 4-day workweek from this April to October, as part of a program with 4 Day Week Global, a non profit company associated with the University of Oxford.

A change like this might attract workers to apply for a certain job, knowing they’ll get a longer weekend, but it could lead to employers struggling to bring people on because of higher labor costs.

Most employers don’t appear to be on board with such a shift. A recent poll of 459 mostly tech companies showed that 90% of companies weren’t planning to shift to a four-day workweek, according to Sequoia Consulting Group.

One of the cosponsors of the bill, Assembly member Cristina Garcia, was asked about the financial impact of this, especially for small businesses. Garcia said“Well, again, this only applies to companies that have 500 or more employees. This does not apply to small businesses out there. And yes, there might be an increase in salaries you have to pay and that’s not a bad thing.”

The reality is that we have a worker shortage, like more than 60 percent of businesses are reporting… their bottom line is already being affected, they’re already struggling,” she added. 

The California Chamber of Commerce called the bill a “job killer.”

The Daily Wire examined a letter to one of the cosponsors of the measure written by a policy advocate with the Chamber, and signed by dozens of other organizations.

It said the bill “imposes a tremendous cost on employers and includes provisions that are impossible to comply with, exposing businesses to litigation,” and that its “impact on labor costs in California will discourage job growth in the state,” noting that “up to one million jobs may be lost” if it goes into effect.  

Peter Rex, CEO of Rex, a technology, investment, and real estate firm, moved his company from California to Texas three years ago.

He said the 32-hour work week will hurt the state noting, “…California, as a result, is going to continue to lose relative strength and power and competitiveness as an economy and people are going to continue to move out because business leaders like myself are going to move out…”

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