California proposes four-day work week for companies with more than 500 employees

- DAILY MAIL - JAMES GORDON - APR 12, 2022 -

California's bill would shorten the standard US work week from 40 to 32 hours

which would force firms to pay overtime to anyone working more than 32 hours per week


  • California bill would shorten the standard US work week from 40 to 32 hours

  • Across the state of California about 2,600 companies, or roughly one-fifth of those working for the state's employers would be affected

  • Proposal is part of a broader focus on work-life balance spurred by the coronavirus

  • Gig workers would be excluded from overtime pay requirements

  • Four-day work weeks have been trialled in other countries and the results have been encouraging boosting employee productivity and reducing stress

  • In Iceland, a trial was so successful that 8 in 10 employees have moved to working four days a week

  • The state's bill is similar to national legislation, spearheaded by Rep. Mark Takano, D-California

California's Democratic-led Legislature wants to mandate a four day work week for all workers at large companies in the state.



A new bill being discussed in the state assembly would see the official working week reduced from 40 hours to 32 for companies with 500 employees of more.


Any work carried out beyond the 32-hour limit would run into overtime and be paid at time-and-a-half, while those working more than 12 hours a day or for more than seven days a week would be paid double their normal wage.


It would, in effect, raise hourly wages by 25%, while increasing the cost of an hour of overtime even more.


Employers would also be forbidden from reducing the workers' current salaries simply because they are working less.


Across California, about 2,600 companies, or roughly one-fifth of those working for employers in the state, would be affected.


Democratic Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia, one of the lawmakers who introduced the bill, said the proposal is part of a broader focus on work-life balance spurred by the coronavirus.


'Employees are not asking for games or free food or free coffee — those were some of the perks we saw before, especially in Silicon Valley,' Garcia said. 'Employees are talking about wanting a work-life balance, wanting to be healthy mentally, physically and emotionally. And a four-day work week is part of that discussion.


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