Full-time workers may be sighing in relief soon, but it’s up to the government to help make everyone breathe a bit easier.
According to reports, a bill has been reintroduced into the House of Representatives that’s championing the four-day/workweek, a measure that has been hotly contested since the pandemic-induced rise of remote work.
Over the last two years, workers have realized the importance of having true work-life balance after being able to work from home while sheltering-in-place.
As previously reported by ESSENCE, a 6-month pilot program successfully deployed a shortened across 33 companies and 903 workers, and participants aren’t likely to go back to “normal.” The workers’ productivity didn’t take a dip, and their pay wasn’t reduced as a result of the clipped week.
At the conclusion of the program, participating companies took a survey by 4 Day Week Global, and they all said they were leaning towards or planning on returning to their former five-day routine. Nearly 97% of the 495 employees shared they wanted to continue with a four-day week.
Now, it has been recently reported that California Representative Mark Takano’s bill proposed making a four-day workweek a federal law.
Last year the measure was initially introduced in the California Assembly for consideration to bring to legislative action, ultimately changing the definition of the workweek from five eight-hour days to four at companies with more than 500 employees. Additionally, employees who work more than 32 hours a week would be guaranteed overtime under the legislation.
A year later, the idea has come back around and the bill has been written and introduced by Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia (D) and Assemblyman Evan Low (D).
“We’ve had a five-day workweek since the Industrial Revolution,” Garcia told the Los Angeles Times. “But we’ve had a lot of progress in society, and we’ve had a lot of advancements. I think the pandemic right now allows us the opportunity to rethink things, to reimagine things.”
Earlier this month, Rep. Takano said in a statement, “Workers across the nation are collectively reimagining their relationship to labor—and our laws need to follow suit.
He added, “We have before us the opportunity to make common sense changes to work standards passed down from a different era. The Thirty-Two Hour Workweek Act would improve the quality of life of workers, meeting the demand for a more truncated workweek that allows room to live, play, and enjoy life more fully outside of work.”