New Bill Would Shorten California Workweek to 4 Days. Does That Mean More Time for Skiing?

Martin Kuprianowicz |
Proposed bill AB 2932 would create a 32-hour workweek in California for companies with more than 500 employees. | Photo courtesy of Jason Goodman on Unsplash

The California Legislature is considering a bill that would shorten the workweek to four days for companies with more than 500 employees. If approved, proposed bill AB 2932 would make California the first state in the nation to reduce its workweek to four days for a huge portion of the state’s workers. Under the legislation, workdays would still be 8 hours and overtime pay would be required for those working more than four full days a week, according to ABC7.

Pros of the four-day workweek:

  • It may boost worker productivity, work/life balance, and mental and physical health, according to Axios.
  • It gives more time for things other than work—like skiing and snowboarding.
  • People may be able to earn more money, as the fifth workday of the week would have to be paid as overtime.

Cons of the four-day workweek:

  • It could create massive financial issues, prompting companies to pay more in overtime and hire more workers, according to Axios.
  • Additional labor costs imposed by the bill would amount to a minimum 10% increase in wages per employee per week, according to Ashley Hoffman, a policy advocate at the California Chamber of Commerce, who spoke with the San Diego Union-Tribune.
  • Those four days of work could become more intense, leading to decreased productivity.
  • It may further drive inflation.
  • People may not use their free time well and get lazy.

If the bill goes through, businesses could still technically make people work five days a week but they would have to pay them overtime after they hit 32 hours for the week, Axios reports. Under the bill, employees who work more than 32 hours would be compensated at a rate of at least 1.5 times their regular rate of pay, just like how that’s currently required for anybody who works more than 40 hours a week, as reported by the San Diego Union-Tribune.

But would the proposed bill give people more time to go skiing? It’s hard to say. In theory, yes. An extra day off a week means an extra day to go ride. But people may still be required to work the five days at their workplace and would just be making overtime instead. Also, if this move only increases inflation rates, which have been steadily rising over the past two years, it would make everything more expensive—including season passes and day tickets at California ski areas. So would it really make it easier to go skiing in that case? Some experts are calling this proposed bill a “job killer” and a “terrifying” move for the state’s economy.

“This is terrifying,” Nicholas Bloom, a Stanford University professor who studies work trends, told the Chronicle. “If they introduce this, businesses will reduce employment through hiring freezes and layoffs and slash pay by canceling the next [five] years of pay increases.”

Nations like Iceland, Japan, Spain, and the United Arab Emirates have already adopted reduced workweek policies. Some private companies have experimented with a shorter workweek as well, and have found it to be popular, according to Axios. Fintech startup company Bolt adopted a permanent four-day week after a three-month trial period and reports that job applications have increased by 30%. Research shared by 4 Day Week Global says that “63% of businesses found it easier to attract and retain talent with a 4 day work week.”

Major legislation like bill AB 2932 will certainly not be easy to pass, and it is currently being reviewed by the Labor and Employment Committee. A hearing date to further discuss the proposed bill has yet to be set.

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7 thoughts on “New Bill Would Shorten California Workweek to 4 Days. Does That Mean More Time for Skiing?

  1. GDP per capita is how you measure a country’s ability to pay for nice things including healthcare and education.

    Argentina 100 years ago had the 10th highest GDP per capita in the world and was at one point compared economically to that of the US. Many predicted it could eclipse the US as the main economic power in the western hemisphere.

    After a series of disastrous socialist type policies, years of uncontrolled inflation and currency devaluation Argentina is now the 66th ranked GDP per capita. They are relatively poor now and struggle to provide a good living and quality services to their average citizen.

    I’m not saying CA is like Argentina. I am saying policies like CA’s proposed 4-day work week overtime degrade a nations GDP and thus GDP per capita. Over time, over decades the nation’s economical output declines and the average citizen over time suffers. It happens slowly and take decades but that is the result.

    Everyone should look at the long term consequences of a 4-day work week and think what like that does for total economic output over a 10-30 year period. In theory it reduces overall economic output by 20%. Overtime it reduces economic growth. Overtime it degrades the country’s ability to pay for good and services such as healthcare and education.

  2. I just got done spending 10 days with a bunch of Argentinian bankers and attorneys. Highly educated individuals who understand the economic and political history of that country likely better than you and your GF.

    Here’s the point. The main point. Socialism does not work. Every country who has implemented it over time declines and over time the population of that country suffers.

    California is the leader in implementing socialist ideals in America. Ideals that if you understand history well you’d understand lead to the degradation of the country’s economy over time.

    If you we’re educated properly you’d understand the reason America has so much cool and amazing stuff is because we were an economic powerhouse, therefore we could afford to do nice things. Unfortunately recently aka in the last 15-20 years America’s economic powerhouse status has been steadily on the decline. As you do crazy socialist stuff like reduce peoples working hours by 20%, something basic in economics called ECONOMIC PRODUCTIVITY, suffers and declines.

    If you understood the definition of ECONOMIC PRODUCTIVITY and how it relates back to your life and the average quality of life for a citizen in a country you’d realized what a horrible idea this 4-day work week thing is.

    Here’s a good book for you. Its extremely dense but maybe you’ll get some of the concepts. Its time for America to start understanding where in economic cycle we are. Get educated, get to work. Stop spending more than we make. Laziness and excess in a society never works out in the long run. Just like everyone is worried about the impending catastrophe in the climate, we should be more worried about the impending catastrophe when America’s dollar is no longer the world’s reserve currency and people stop buying our debt. I know you don’t understand what reserve currency means or economic productivity means but you should. Read up.

    Ray Dalio – Principles for Dealing with the Changing World Order: Why Nations Succeed and Fail

  3. AN- I’ve been to Argentina with my ex GF who was from there. You comparing the plight of every day Argentine people brought on by decades of corruption, social upheaval and government exploitation to California is just the kind of trash take you would have. El Proceso targeted and KILLED TENS OF THOUSANDS liberals, students, socialists and activists. Like all conservatives, you cant understand nuance or details so of course Argentina=California.

  4. This is an interesting issue. It HAD been proposed to deal with an oversupply of employees, particularly as the Boomer generation was aging and continuing to work as they approach retirement. Recent events have appeared to change the entire equation, with good jobs having trouble attracting applicants. This bill seems to either ignore this recent change, OR assumes the change is transient.

  5. Proof of why I’ve been trashing California for years.
    They are full of crazy liberal whacko ideas.
    Right on tech companies are so profitable they can afford this socialist junk.
    California is epicenter of this garbage.
    They are dragging the rest of us normal everyday working people down with them.
    Its time for California to break off and become its own country.

    PS Colin and Wheezus. I’m in Argentina right now visiting a country who’s economy and working class has been decimated and forced into poverty because of liberal socialists garbage policies like what comes out of CA.

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