By Leonardo Cervantes
California can make history by becoming the first state across the U.S to enforce 32-hour work weeks instead of 40-hour workweeks.
The Bill, AB 2932, would shorten the current work week from 40 hours to 32 hours for employers in California with at least 500 employees.
This bill would require that work in excess of 32 hours in a workweek be compensated at the rate of no less than 1 1/2 times the employee’s regular rate of pay.
The bill would also prohibit an employer from reducing an employee’s regular rate of pay as a result of this reduced hourly work week requirement.
Shorter work weeks would allow people to devote more time to other priorities they have.
Having eight hours less from a work week would do wonders for everyone’s physical health.
Residents would have less stressful weeks and could improve their physical and mental health. With reduced stress levels, workers could potentially be more engaged at work and perhaps finish jobs easier.
People would be able to spend time with their loved ones and recover from their grueling schedules.
Working 40 hours a week can be seen as a challenge for some but reducing it to only 32 hours could improve work morale and potentially increase attention to detail for workers.
Less hours at work would improve stress levels which would also improve the effectiveness at work.
Workers tend to slack off during the final hour or two of work due to human nature. This bill would most likely improve that.
AB 2932 would have its biggest effect at the onset as people will see eight extra hours to themselves so they will most likely be motivated at their workplace.
Many workers have busy lives. They attend school or have kids to care of. An extra eight hours a week could help them better balance their lives.
Many part time students that work a fulltime job don’t have realistic options to be full time students. With an extra eight hours of free time this would likely change.
Workers would have the option to take an extra class or two and further advance their studies and get a degree ahead of their expected date.
AB 2932 could also open the doors for workers that are eager to continue their studies but haven’t been able to due to their schedules.
The bill could also increase potential job options by having people eager to apply. Shorter work weeks could definitely reduce unemployment.
Certain companies that qualify for this new bill could see their part-time workers become full-time workers due to the new hour change.
Working 40 hours a week can be grueling. With the change, those that were once doubtful can potentially be swayed to join the workforce.
This new bill could change the lives of many people by breaking their boring schedule and allowing them to experience more of life.
Some people’s schedules are so constrained they only have a few hours to themselves.
This could potentially allow them to travel more or perhaps get rest and sleep in a couple of hours.
People could potentially spend more time with their friends and loved ones or meetup with those whose past work schedules restrained them from meeting.
It would allow people to expand their social life and become more familiarized with their community.
In Iceland, a four-day work week trial was conducted by Autonomy and the Association for Sustainability and Democracy (Alda) and was viewed as a success.
“Worker wellbeing dramatically increased across a range of indicators, from perceived stress and burnout to health and work-life balance… Productivity and service provision remained the same or improved across the majority of trial workplaces,” researchers said.
This bill would be groundbreaking as it would be the first time in the United States since 1926 where the 40-hour work week would see a change. Governor Newsom has until September 30 to sign or veto the bill.