California considering 32-hour workweek

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A big change could soon be coming to the way people live their lives: a 4-day workweek.

California is debating a plan for companies with more than 500 employees to define the workweek as only 32 hours.

The hope is to reduce stress without reducing productivity.

“I think it’s a great idea,” said Jeanette Stevens.

To be clear, Florida is not considering the same changes.

The proposed bill also calls for employees in those big companies to get paid time and a half as overtime once they pass the 32-hour threshold.

Benjamin Yormak, a board certified expert in labor and employment law, called it an interesting idea.

“It’s something that’s been used overseas a fair bit, and particularly in Scandinavia, I believe, it’s been very popular,” Yormak said.

Yormak thinks a shorter workweek may boost productivity.

“Certain studies, I think, have indicated the level of productivity and overall happiness, have risen, meaning employees are actually more productive, and happier,” Yormak said.

The downside?

“They’re going to be, however, likely forced to work harder during those other four days,” he said.

Critics of the bill say redefining full-time to 32 hours a week would be a job killer because it would cost more to hire people.

Yormak does not think so.

“I think that you would see the employers come back and say, well, that’s fine. We’re not going to pay you at $20 now or we’re going to pay you at, you know, $16 an hour,” he said.

Yormak said other states will like wait to see if this bill is successful before they follow suit.

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