New California bill wants shorter 32 work hours a week

The bill, however, is tagged as a 'job killer'

New California bill wants shorter 32 work hours a week

A new bill has been introduced in California seeking to mandate large businesses to cut down the number of work hours a week to 32.

Under the Assembly Bill No. 2932, work hours that go beyond the proposed 32 hours will be compensated at the rate of no less than one and one-half times the regular rate of pay of an employee.

"Any work in excess of 12 hours in one day shall be compensated at the rate of no less than twice the regular rate of pay for an employee," read the bill, which was introduced by Assembly Members Evan Low and Cristina Garcia.

"In addition, any work in excess of eight hours on any seventh day of a workweek shall be compensated at the rate of no less than twice the regular rate of pay of an employee."

Meanwhile, the bill said the compensation rate of 32 hours should reflect the compensation previously granted to employees when they were still working for 40 hours.

"An employer shall not reduce an employee's regular rate of pay as a result of this reduced hourly workweek requirement," read the bill.

The provisions in the bill only cover large businesses, or companies with over 500 employees. It does not include firms with less than that, as well as employees who are working under:

  • An alternative workweek schedule adopted pursuant to Section 511
  • An alternative workweek schedule adopted pursuant to a collective bargaining agreement pursuant to Section 514
  • An alternative workweek schedule to which this chapter is inapplicable pursuant to Section 554.

Read more: California company puts a new spin on the four-day workweek

Job killer?

The California Chamber of Commerce has expressed opposition over the proposed bill, adding it to a list of "job killer bills."

According to the chamber, the AB 2932 "significantly increases labour costs by imposing an overtime pay requirement after 32 hours and other requirements that are impossible to comply with."

The chamber added that this will, in effect, expose employers to litigation under the Private Attorneys General Act.

CalChamber president and chief executive officer Jennifer Barrera said the job killer bills "reflect a lack of appreciation of the economic realities and regulatory challenges employers face as they continue to emerge from the pandemic."

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