Democrat Calls for Reducing U.S. Work Week

Phil Roeder, CC BY 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

( – On Wednesday, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) put forward a new bill that outlines the plan for a four-day workweek without any reduction in pay. 

The bill would drop the working hours from 40 to 32 hours per week over a four-year period, while also bringing down the threshold required for overtime pay. Under this bill overtime pay would amount to 1.5 times the salary of a regular worker for any workday that is over 8 hours long. It would also require that workers who are working over 12 hours per day would be paid double their regular salary for overtime.

The Thirty-Two-Hour Workweek Act includes protection for the pay and benefits of employees, ensuring that under the new structure, they would not be losing pay. In a press release that accompanied the legislation, it was noted that this was an important step to ensure that workers were also benefiting from the increase in productivity that has been caused by the introduction of new technology, artificial intelligence, and greater automation. 

In a press release, Sanders argued that switching to a 32-hour workweek should not result in loss of pay. As he argued, American workers right now are over 400 percent more productive than they had been eight decades ago. Despite this, as he pointed out, Americans were forced to pay longer hours while receiving reduced wages when compared to decades ago. This is why it was necessary to bring change to the current status quo. 

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