WASHINGTON – Progressive Democrats are renewing a push to make four-day workweeks federal law, with lead sponsor Rep. Mark Takano of California saying the change will give Americans more time “to live, play, and enjoy life more fully outside of work.”

Takano introduced a bill earlier this month that would reduce the standard workweek from 40 hours to 32, effectively ending the traditional five-day cycle. 

The legislation follows a shift in workplace trends after the COVID-19 pandemic influenced conversations about what the future of work may look like

How Congress bill would create four-day workweek

Takano’s legislation, the Thirty-Two Hour Workweek Act, would amend the definition of the workweek in the federal Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938. It would require overtime pay at a rate of time and half for any employee who works more than 32 hours in one week. 

The proposal would apply to non-exempt workers who are typically paid hourly in industries like leisure and hospitality, transportation, construction, manufacturing, wholesale and retail trade. Some salaried workers also would meet the bill’s provisions.

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Frank Johnson