Assembly Bill 2932 was introduced by Assembly Members Evan Low (D-San Jose) and Cristina Garcia (D-Bell Gardens) on Feb. 18, of this year, regarding the workweek hours and overtime.
The current workweek is defined as an average of 40 hours for fulltime employees, stating that employees working more than 40 hours in a week are entitled to compensation at a rate of at least 1.5 times the employee’s regular rate of pay. The proposed bill would make the standard workweek just 32 hours, requiring overtime compensation for employees working more than 32 hours in a week. Employers with less than 500 employees are exempt from the proposed bill.
If passed and adopted, AB 2932 would make California the first state in the country to reduce to a four-day workweek for companies with more than 500 employees. According to the Los Angeles Times, Assembly Member Cristina Garcia said the bill was proposed because of the exodus of employees during the COVID-19 pandemic as more than 47 million Americans voluntarily quit their jobs in 2021.
The California Chamber of Commerce added AB 2932 to its Job Killer list, as it would significantly increase labor costs and some of the requirements are impossible to comply with, which could expose employers to litigation under the Private Attorneys General Act. The bill would have a significant impact on labor costs and discourage job growth within the state of California. CalChamber reported that up to one million jobs could be lost under the proposed bill.
For the reasons above, the Imperial Valley Regional Chamber of Commerce also opposed this bill and signed on to the CalChamber’s letter of opposition.
The California Chamber of Commerce did report, however, that the bill failed deadline to move from policy committee to fiscal committee on April 29. Though the bill is currently out for this year, it could be proposed again for next year’s session.