House legislation was reintroduced to make 32-hour work week the national standard

Michelle Northrop

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House legislation was reintroduced to make 32-hour work week the national standard.Photo byHennie StanderonUnsplash

Congressman Mark Takano for the 39th district of California and a member of the House Education and the Workforce Committee reintroduced the Thirty-Two-Hour Workweek Act to the House on March 1, 2023.

U.S. House of Representatives Bill (H.R.) 1332 would reduce the National standard workweek from 40 hours to 32 hours per week by amending the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (FLSA) and lowering the maximum hour's threshold for overtime compensation for non-exempt employees.

"Workers across the nation are collectively reimagining their relationship to labor and our laws need to follow suit. We have before us the opportunity to make common sense changes to work standards passed down from a different era. The Thirty-Two Hour Workweek Act would improve the quality of life of workers, meeting the demand for a more truncated workweek that allows room to live, play, and enjoy life more fully outside of work.” Congressman Mark Takano stated.

The Thirty-Two-Hour Workweek Act does not make any changes or limit the number of hours that an employee may work in a standard workweek but amends the definition of the workweek in federal law. The majority of workers impacted would be non-exempt, hourly workers, but some salaried workers fall under the scope of the bill’s provisions.  

Representative Pramila Jayapal of Washington and Representative Janice Schakowsky of Illinois are cosponsors of the Thirty-Two-Hour Workweek Act.

“For too long, our country has prioritized corporate profits over working people and Americans have been forced to work longer hours, sacrificing time with loved ones. While policies enacted by President Biden and Democrats have finally started to raise wages for workers across multiple industries, it’s vital that health, well-being, and basic human dignity are valued over employers’ bottom lines. Establishing a 32-hour work week would go a long way toward finally righting that balance." Representative Pramila Jayapal, Chair of the Congeressional Progressive Caucus stated.

The Thirty-Two Hour Workweek Act has been endorsed by 4 Day Week Global, the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO), Service Employees International Union (SEIU), the United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW), the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), the National Employment Law Project (NELP), and the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC).

“For far too long, working people have put in extraordinarily long hours on the job and sacrificed too much time with their families and loved ones. This legislation is a step in the right direction to ensure working people get the dignity and job-life balance they deserve. It's past time for corporations to adapt to the changing needs of America's workforce, including shorter work days and a four-day workweek.” Liz Shuler, President of the AFL-CIO stated.

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