Rep. Mark Takano (D-CA) has brought back a bill to make the four-day workweek federal law and require employers to pay overtime after 32 hours in a week.
Takano told CNBC that a four-day workweek “will increase the happiness of humankind.”
His bill would amend the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 which set the workweek at 40 hours. He said that the legislation applies to non-exempt workers, who typically work hourly jobs in retail, hospitality, transportation, construction, manufacturing, and warehouse distribution jobs.
When Takano, who represents the Riverside area in Congress, introduced the bill two years ago, it received progressive backing but failed to advance.
“Workers across the nation are collectively reimagining their relationship to labor — and our laws need to follow suit,” Takano said in a statement. “We have before us the opportunity to make common sense changes to work standards passed down from a different era.”
Short Workweek Pilot in the United Kingdom
Noted CNBC: “Nearly 3,000 U.K. workers at 61 companies recently completed a six-month pilot of the shortened week run by nonprofit 4 Day Week Global. Businesses reported improved productivity, revenue, morale, and team culture, whereas individuals saw benefits for their health, finances, and relationships.”
Last year, a similar bill (AB 2932) was introduced in the California Assembly. At that time, the Society for Human Resource Management opposed the legislation.
“SHRM believes in workplace flexibility that works for both employees and employers. We oppose this legislation because of its one-size-fits-all approach, which requires large organizations to pay overtime for any work in excess of 32 hours without reducing an employee’s regular rate of pay,” said the group’s chief of staff, Emily M. Dickens. “(It) would undoubtedly be bad for business in California, exacerbating staffing shortages, raising labor costs and making life more difficult for scores of businesses struggling to recover from the worst days of the pandemic. ”
Read more at this CNBC link.