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HomeGeneralBernie Sanders Introduces Bill To Establish a Four-Day WorkWeek

Bernie Sanders Introduces Bill To Establish a Four-Day WorkWeek

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Sen. Bernie Sanders (l-Vt.) held a hearing on Thursday, March 14, 2024, on a bill he introduced. The Vermont Senator introduced a bill to reduce the standard US workweek to four days without loss of pay. The “Thirty-Two-Hour Work Week Act” bill aims to reduce the standard workweek from 40 to 32 hours.

A picture of Senator Bernie Sanders
Source: Pinterest

According to sources, the bill aims to reduce the workweek over four years. This includes lowering the maximum hours required for overtime compensation for nonexempt employees. Furthermore, it would require overtime pay at time and a half for workdays that last more than eight hours.

Similarly, it would require paying workers double their regular pay for work days longer than 12 hours. A press release states that the bill is an “important step toward ensuring workers share in increasing productivity.” The press release describes it as “economic growth driven by technological advancements.”

“Moving to a 32-hour workweek with no loss of pay is not a radical idea,” Sanders said in a statement. “Today, American workers are over 400 percent more productive than they were in the 1940s.” The Senator continued, “And yet, millions of Americans are working longer hours for lower wages than they were decades ago.”

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“That has got to change,” Bernie Sanders added. The Senator noted that “the financial gains from the major advancements in new technology must benefit the working class. “Not just corporate CEOs and wealthy stockholders on Wall Street,” he said. 

While discussing the bill, Bernie Sanders noted that “it is time to reduce the stress level in our country.” He also stated that the bill would allow Americans to enjoy a better quality of life. “It is time for a 32-hour workweek with no loss in pay,” the Senator added. “I look forward to the discussion this week.”

According to reports, Bernie Sanders introduced the legislation with other senators. Sanders, who chairs the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, asked several people to testify at the proposal hearing.

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These include United Auto Workers President Shawn Fain, Boston College sociology professor Juliet Schor, and Jon Leland. Also, Kickstarter’s chief strategy officer and co-founder of the Four Day Workweek Campaign testified at the hearing.

In a news release on the bill, Sanders cites several studies. One of the studies claims that average American workers’ weekly wages are lower than 50 years ago. However, it says CEOs make hundreds of times more than their workers earn.

“It’s time that working families, not just CEOs and wealthy shareholders, benefit from increased productivity,” the fact sheet says. “So that they can enjoy more leisure time, family time, education and cultural opportunities, and less stress.”

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In addition, Bernie Sanders pointed to other countries that have reduced their workweeks, such as France, Norway, and Denmark. He also pointed to four-day workweek pilot programs that increased worker productivity and satisfaction.

During the bill hearing, Sanders highlighted productivity statistics from other nations adopting shorter workweeks. However, like many bills, Sanders’ proposal faced opposition. The committee’s ranking member, Bill Cassidy (R-La.), argued that the legislation would have adverse effects. 

Cassidy countered that a 32-hour workweek with the same pay would harm small businesses, restaurants, and trades. Furthermore, he warned that a reduced workweek would appear to benefit the American worker in the short term. However, he said it would later lead to layoffs if businesses could not keep up.

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