A bill making its way through California’s Legislature could shorten the workweek for some companies to four days.

The bill, AB-2932, would lower the maximum hours that employees have to work to receive overtime pay from 40 hours to 32 for companies with more than 500 employees.

The legislation currently sits in the Committee on Labor and Employment. It was introduced by Democratic Assembly members Evan Low, who represents a district in the Bay Area, and Cristina Garcia, who represents a district in Los Angeles County.

“We’ve had 40hr workweek since the Industrial Revolution, but with many advancements in society the #4dayworkweek is achievable,” Garcia tweeted Wednesday.

Some of California’s largest employers that would be affected include Wells Fargo, The Walt Disney Co., Irvine-based Taco Bell and tech companies like Oracle, Apple and Intel. About 2,700 businesses in California have 500 employees or more as of 2021, according to data from the state’s Employment Development Department.

Perspective: Confessions of a work-at-home dad
If you’re all work and no play, you’re like a lot of American employees

The California Chamber of Commerce came out against the bill, calling it a job killer that “imposes a tremendous cost on employers and includes provisions that are impossible to comply with” in a letter to Gov. Gavin Newsom and others.

The chamber argued in the letter that additional labor costs that would come from the legislation would be “untenable for many businesses” and that it could reduce hours for some workers.

Research published in February by the Utah-based software company Qualtrics found 92% of employees say they want a four-day workweek, and 74% said they could complete the same amount of work in four days that they currently do in five.

These 8 midterm races in the West could decide who controls Congress
What’s Gov. Gavin Newsom’s plan to take on California’s highest-in-the-nation gas prices?
View Comments

The concept of a four-day workweek is gaining attention due to changes in work related to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

In East Texas, one rural school district is switching to four days because of a teacher shortage, and Buffer, a social media management company based in San Francisco, reported that 91% of its employees were happier after implementing permanent three-day weekends after the pandemic began.

At the federal level, a Californian proposed a national 32-hour Workweek Act. Rep. Mark Takano, D-Calif., introduced a bill last year that was endorsed by the Congressional Progressive Caucus and co-sponsored by lawmakers like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich.

No action has been taken on the bill since it was introduced last July.

Join the Conversation
Looking for comments?
Find comments in their new home! Click the buttons at the top or within the article to view them — or use the button below for quick access.