A shortened 32-hour work week could be introduced in California, but critics have called the plans a “job killer.”
CNBC reports legislation is being worked on that would reduce the average work week for companies with more than 500 workers.
Employees would not receive any pay cut, and those who work more would be compensated at a rate of no less than 1.5 times the employee’s regular rate of pay.
Democratic Assembly member Cristina Garcia, one of the bill’s sponsors, said in a statement: “It doesn’t make sense that we are still holding onto a work schedule that served the Industrial Revolution.”
She explained the combination of the Covid-19 pandemic, the “great resignation” and “The great reshuffle” have made now the right time to introduce the changes.
She added: “There has been no correlation between working more hours and better productivity.”
However, the California Chamber of Commerce opposes the bill and has labeled it a “job killer.”
Ashley Hoffman, public policy advocate at the California Chamber Commerce wrote in a letter to Assembly member Evan Low, another Democratic sponsor of the bill.
It said: “Labor costs are often one of the highest costs a business faces.
“Such a large increase in labor costs will reduce businesses’ ability to hire or create new positions and will therefore limit job.
Supporters of the plan say the same work can be done in a shorter time and that more companies are testing it out as a way to improve employee wellbeing.
Dozens of companies across the US and Canada began a six month pilot of the four-day week, let by 4 Day Week Global.
It presents the idea is that employees work 80 percent of the time for 100 percent of the pay and maintain 100 percent productivity.
It proposes more efficiency, including cutting back on pointless meetings.
Joe O’Connor, CEO of 4 Day Week Global, said: “It comes down to working more efficiently, including cutting back on unnecessary meetings.
“More and more companies are recognizing that the new frontier for competition is quality of life, and that reduced-hour, productivity-focused working is the vehicle to give them that competitive edge.”