A NEW MEASURE in the state Legislature would change the definition of a workweek to 32 hours from the current 40 for employers with 500 or more workers.

The bill, AB 2932, would require overtime pay of at least time and a half for any employees who work more than four eight-hour days during the week. Employers would be barred from cutting their employees’ salaries as a result of the shorter workweek.

Strong opposition

The California Chamber of Commerce and other business groups oppose the measure, saying it’s a “job killer” that would hurt business and result in substantial overtime being paid out. They also say the bill would increase labor costs, expose employers to litigation and imposerequirements that are “impossible to comply with.”

Labor costs are often one of the highest costs a business faces. Businesses often operate on thin profit margins and the number of employees you have does not dictate financial success,” the chamber wrote in a letter opposing the bill.

Other observers say the bill would put employers in the Golden State at a competitive disadvantage compared to their peers in other states. It would also significantly increase litigation, employment law experts say.

Proponents of the bill say that it would benefit employee health, increase productivity and reduce health insurance premiums.

Where it stands

The employees of businesses with fewer than 500 workers would continue to work eight hours a day for five days a week to be considered full time.

An analysis of the legislation, citing the state Employment Development Department, says the bill, if it becomes law, would affect some 2,600 business and 3.6 million employees in California.

AB 2932 is currently in the Assembly Labor and Employment Committee. As of mid-April, no hearing had been scheduled.

It’s unclear at this point how much support it has, as it’s a radical change.

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