California residents may be in for a treat as the state legislature has prospered a bill to change the workweek from 40 hours to 32 hours. This means that the work week will be lessened by one day resulting in four-day workweeks and three-day weekends.
The new bill would also require employers to pay their employees overtime rate (a 10 percent increase) if employees work longer than four full days, with eight hours a day still considered a workday.
Now, there is a catch, as only jobs with 500 or more employees can qualify for the new workweek bill. Many employers have been running tests with the four-day work week, and the results have been positive.
According to the Iceland council and government members, trials ran from 2015 to 2019 that included 2,500 workers who experienced a dramatic decrease in stress and burnout and increased health and work-life balance.
Researchers found that productivity stayed the same or increased in the majority of the workplaces that went from 40-hour workweeks to 35-36 hour work weeks.
Some question the bill as it may have negative to no effect on some employees. One of those people is the President of the Crenshaw Chamber of Commerce, Armen Ross, who thinks the bill is a disservice to people on an hourly wage.
“There is a strong possibility people will be making less money as they will essentially be losing a day of work, and it is not guaranteed their employer will want to pay them overtime for an extra day of work. With everything going up in price, many people can’t afford to miss a day of work.”
Ross always suggests that small business owners may lose out on employees who will not benefit from the new bill.
“Small business employees will see the benefit of working for a larger employer and question whether it is worth working at a small business. Now businesses like dry cleaners, restaurants, and some retail stores will lose workers and be put at a disadvantage compared to bigger operators.”
The bill is still being discussed in legislation, and there is no timetable for when a decision will be made. But with the overwhelming support lawmakers have received, California residents should receive an answer soon.