Bernie Sanders proposes 4-day workweek with same pay for less hours

Senator Bernie Sanders introduced a new bill on Wednesday, the "Thirty Two Hour Workweek Act," which proposes reducing the standard 40-hour workweek to 32 hours. Under this legislation, workers would earn the same as they would during a 40-hour workweek, with overtime pay at time-and-a-half for hours exceeding eight per day and double pay for workdays longer than 12 hours. The bill is co-sponsored by Senator Laphonza Butler and Representative Mark Takano.

Sanders argues that American workers are significantly more productive than they were in the 1940s but are working longer hours for lower wages. He believes that the benefits of advancements in technology should benefit the working class, not just corporate executives and shareholders.

Opposition to the bill has arisen, with concerns that a four-day workweek could harm small businesses operating on thin profit margins due to difficulties finding enough workers. A Gallup survey from 2019 indicated that over half of working adults in the US work more than 40 hours a week, with an average of 42 hours worked by full-time employees.

However, the concept of a four-day workweek is gaining traction, with studies showing benefits for both companies and workers. A global trial of the 32-hour workweek by 4 Day Week Global reported increased efficiency, better work-life balance, and a 15% growth in revenue for participating firms. Workers in the UK trial also noted improvements in their quality of life and attitude towards work.

Overall, the debate over the proposed 32-hour workweek legislation reflects differing opinions on how to balance productivity, employee well-being, and economic considerations in the modern workforce.


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