A federal version is also being prepared.
Given the crime surge, drug problems, and the problems associated with unchecked illegal immigration and homelessness, you would think that the California state legislature would be very busy.
And while you would be correct, the legislature’s priorities aren’t precisely aligned with the problems the state and its citizens are experiencing.
For example, the Assembly now is considering a proposal that would mandate a 32-hour workweek for larger companies.
A new bill introduced in the state assembly would make the official workweek 32 hours for companies with 500 or more employees, with hefty raises for any work done past that cutoff. Employers would be required to pay time-and-a-half to workers whose hours run over 32 a week. Work stretching past 12 hours a day or into seven days a week would be paid at double their normal wage.
Employers subject to the law also would be barred from reducing workers’ pay because they are working less, assembly member Cristina Garcia, one of the bill’s sponsors, told the Los Angeles Times. The bill would not cover workers who are covered by a collective bargaining agreement.
California Assembly Bill 2932 was authored by Cristina Garcia (D-Bell Gardens) and Evan Low (D-San Jose). However, there is also a federal bill that is being prepared.
At the federal level, a bill by Rep. Mark Takano (D-Riverside) is pushing for similar changes under the Fair Labor Standards Act.
Reached by phone Friday, Garcia said the idea was prompted in part by the exodus of employees during the COVID-19 pandemic, many of whom were seeking a better quality of life. More than 47 million Americans voluntarily quit their jobs in 2021, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
“We’ve had a five-day workweek since the Industrial Revolution,” Garcia said, “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.”
The state bill is still in its first steps and needs to be voted on by the state Assembly.
If the bill passes, 2,585 employers would be affected, according to California’s Employment Development Department.
…The California Chamber of Commerce says the increase in labor costs would discourage job growth, especially with so many employers still trying to recover from the pandemic and facing higher prices for supplies.
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