Governor Newsom returned Tuesday from a two-week vacation with his family. State Legislators return on Monday from a one-week spring break. Maybe being full of “vacation appreciation” will make them more inclined to support AB 2932, authored by Assemblymembers Even Low (D-San Jose) and Cristina Garcia (D-Bell Gardens), which proposes turning the 40-hour work week into 32 hours (or 4-days). Any work done beyond those 32 hours would generate time and a half for an employee. The bill would impact those hourly workers at companies with 500 or more employees. According to the LA Times, this equates to about 2,600 businesses and more than 3.6 million employees. Workers who are part of collective bargaining agreements would not be impacted.
Don’t worry about a cut in pay for less hours. According to the Sacramento Bee, the bill’s language includes salary protection: “an employer shall not reduce an employee’s regular rate of pay as a result of this reduced hourly workweek requirement.” If the language is not changed, then passed by the legislature, signed by the Governor, and not entwined in lawsuits, the law would require employers to pay workers the same amount for 32 hours of work as they were paying them for 40.
While workers may be celebrating the idea, it’s not so popular among employers. As reported in last week’s Calpeek, the California Chamber of Commerce has included the bill among its “kill bill” list.
It sounds like a radical idea, but Japan is considering a 32 hour work week. Iceland has had success with their trial run. Four Day Work Week Global says that studies show “78% of employees with 4 day work weeks are happier and less stressed.” Calpeek can’t argue with that. Sign us up (unless our publishers are reading this).