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‘Unintended Consequences’: Former McDonald’s CEO Blasts California Four-Day Workweek Proposal
A man wearing a face mask walks past a sign "Now Hiring" in front of a store amid the coronavirus pandemic on May 14, 2020 in Arlington, Virginia. - Another 3 million people filed initial unemployment claims last week on a seasonally adjusted basis, according to the Department of Labor. (Photo by Olivier DOULIERY / AFP) (Photo by OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images)

Former McDonald’s chief executive Ed Rensi argued that California’s four-day workweek proposal would cause “unintended consequences.”

As The Daily Wire reported earlier this week, California AB 2932 would leave the official workday at eight hours, but require overtime for workers putting in more than 32 hours or four full days in a week. The bill would also require paying double the regular wage for those working more than 12 hours in a day or for seven days per week — thereby hiking hourly wages by approximately 25%.

Rensi told Fox Business anchor Neil Cavuto that “California has always been on the leading edge of smart things and dumb things.” The executive added that the four-day workweek proposal will result in “unintended consequences” and emphasized that the government “doesn’t understand” the law. 

He also expressed his concern that the California policy would significantly worsen labor shortages.

“We got 12 million unfilled jobs in the United States right now that we can’t recruit for. Restaurants are desperately trying to hire people and can’t find them anywhere… You put this kind of [law] in place, you’re really paying a lot of people overtime,” Rensi explained. 

He added that the shortened workweek proposal may diminish workers’ well-being, allowing people “to get two jobs, because they can work three days in one place… three days in another place.”

“I’ve got mixed feelings about it,” Rensi continued. “I want our workers to have a good quality of life, have enough money to support themselves and their families… put their kids through college.” 

California Democratic Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia — who co-sponsored the four-day workweek bill — said employees do not want a return to normalcy following COVID-19 and the lockdown-induced recession. “We’ve seen over 47 million people voluntarily leave their jobs for better opportunities. We’re seeing a labor shortage across the board from small to big businesses,” Garcia told Fortune. “And so it’s very clear that employees don’t want to go back to normal or the old way, but to rethink and go back to [something] better.”

The California Chamber of Commerce argued that the bill “significantly increases labor costs by imposing an overtime pay requirement after 32 hours and other requirements that are impossible to comply with.” Chamber President and CEO Jennifer Barrera argued that the legislation would kill job creation.

“California companies are the economic engine that drives innovation and job creation in our state and are responsible for the record revenues the state is currently experiencing,” Barrera explained in the press release. “Yet, the bills on this year’s job killer list reflect a lack of appreciation of the economic realities and regulatory challenges employers… A shrinking workforce coupled with California’s oppressive legal climate, penchant for overregulation, and continued push for even higher taxes, will hamper the ability of California companies to remain competitive in the future. This year’s job killer list highlights policies that will hurt job creation and will shut down or reduce investment in our economy.”

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