California bill mandating 4-day work week stalled

A proposal in the Legislature that would bring a 4-day work week to California looks like it isn't going anywhere. 

Lawmakers missed a deadline to pass it through a key committee, which means it will not happen this year. 

AB-2932 would have required larger companies start paying overtime after 32 hours a week instead of 40 hours a week. 

While supporters said it would bring a better work-life balance, critics said it would cost businesses just too much money.

The author of the bill says she's disappointed but wants to continue the discussion. 

A six-month-long experiment to test a four-day work week is currently underway, with 38 North American companies participating.

Other countries have explored the idea of a shorter workweek. Iceland tested a 35-36 shorter work week and studies showed it was an "overwhelming success." 

Japan, known for its long work hours, unveiled plans last month to recommend companies permit their staff to work four-day weeks as part of the government’s effort to improve work-life balance.

In 2019, Microsoft Japan performed an experiment to see how reducing the work week would affect productivity and found that sales per employee jumped 40% compared to the same period a year prior.