Californian Lawmakers Consider Four-Day Work Week

Larger companies would only work 32 hours per week.

Larger companies would only work 32 hours per week.

Recently a group of Californian lawmakers have been pushing for bill AB-2932, a bill that, if passed into law, would make 32-hour work weeks the state standard for any company with 500 employees or more. One of the representatives in this group, Mark Takano, has previously pushed for similar legislation, including a bill that would make workers eligible for overtime pay after working over 32 hours in a week instead of 40.

“It’s time to reexamine what the workweek should look like in the 21st century,” Takano said in a public statement.

While there is no national or state standard for work weeks in place, multiple private companies around the US have been testing shortened work weeks on their own time, and have found the results to be positive.

“It’s changed everything. It reduced workplace stress, reduced burnout. We saw no reduction in productivity. So, our team was able to continue to produce at the same level of quality and quantity of output and every Friday was off,” Banks Benitez, CEO of Denver-based company Uncharted, told CBS News. Uncharted scaled back to a 32-hour week in 2020, placing more priority on important business proceedings and cutting out extraneous things.

“So we’re really thoughtful about what is the most essential work that we’re doing? Is this meeting really critical for us to have? Can we cancel this meeting?” said Benitez. “Any given workweek, we will cancel 10% of the meetings, 15% of the meetings because we don’t need them, they’re not essential, or we just shorten them.”

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