business news in context, analysis with attitude

Axios reports that the California legislature is considering a bill "that would cut the workweek to four days for companies with more than 500 employees … California's AB2932 would change the definition of a workweek from 40 hours to 32 hours for employers with more than 500 employees, and require overtime pay for eligible employees after that."

According to the story, "Proponents say a four-day workweek, which has been tried in Europe and is popular with many workers, would boost productivity, work/life balance, and mental and physical health.  Opponents, including the California Chamber of Commerce, say it would be a financial disaster, with companies having to hire more people — when they're already having trouble hiring."

Axios notes that passage of the bill - at least at the moment - seems like a "long-shot."

KC's View:

Count me among the opponents.

This is the kind of stuff that gives liberals a bad name.

I cannot imagine what the rationale is for California making this kind of legal change, which not only would cost companies a lot of money, but would also create upheaval for a lot of companies' operations and cultures.

MNB readers know that I am all in favor of companies being more compassionate toward their employees … that they need to treat workers like assets and not costs … and that for too long executive compensation packages have been way too generous when compared to the frugality mindset often employed on the front lines.

But unilaterally saying that anyone who works at a company with more than 500 employees needs to be paid overtime once they go beyond 32 hours?  This just strikes me as unreasonable and badly timed especially in view of broad staffing shortages.

I believe in creating as pro-worker environment, but the worst thing a government can do for workers is create an anti-business environment, which this does.  A little balance would be nice.  I also believe that judicious government regulation is not necessarily a bad thing … but this is way over the line.