A four-day work week could be in the near future if California gets its way
Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Americans' long working hours put them at a disadvantage in several ways.

Many Americans hope for the day when the regular work week resembles that many of the other countries, with fewer work days, daily siestas and extensive paid leave packages. Having a nap pod under your desk or taking a six-week holiday is, to Americans, what fairytales are made of. Add in up to three years of paid parental leave, and you’re really entering a realm of perfection that Americans can only dream of. But we could be moving closer to those things than we think. While we're far from having three years off for bringing home a new baby, there are some moves toward redressing the balance between the amount of time spent at work and family (or other activity) time.

California recently introduced a bill, AB 2932, that aims to cut the work week from 40 to 32 hours. This reduction in hours would allow employees to have a four-day work week. The bill also outlines how overtime would be applied, where time and a half pay is required after an eight-hour work day, and anything above 12 hours is compensated with double pay. Workers also would not be docked pay if they did not meet the 32-hour minimum for their work week. While the work week would be a day shorter, employees would not be required to work more than an eight-hour shift. The proposed changes would only affect companies that have 500 employees or more.


If AB 2932 passes, California would be the first state to change the standard work week, which has been set at 40 hours since 1940. It was Ford Motor Companies that innovated the five-day, 40-hour work week in 1926. Congress was nearly 15 years behind with making it a federal law.

The shorter work week wouldn’t just be good for work-life balance, but it could also benefit Californians' mental and physical health. The American Heart Association discovered that people under 50 were at a higher risk for stroke when they worked more than 10 hours a day for a decade or more. A different study completed across 14 countries found that people who worked long hours were 12% more likely to become heavy drinkers. Researchers in Iceland found that when employees worked fewer hours each week “they felt better, more energised, and less stressed, resulting in them having more energy for other activities, such as exercise, friends and hobbies.”

Additional benefits of a shorter work week include lower overhead and other costs, as employees take fewer sick days and their productivity rises when they are at work.

It seems clear that a shorter work week has enough benefits to begin to sway any fence sitters. If California passes this law, the future of the 40-hour, five-day work week might eventually become a thing of the past across the entire country.

Moricz was banned from speaking up about LGBTQ topics. He found a brilliant workaround.

Senior class president Zander Moricz was given a fair warning: If he used his graduation speech to criticize the “Don’t Say Gay” law, then his microphone would be shut off immediately.

Moricz had been receiving a lot of attention for his LGBTQ activism prior to the ceremony. Moricz, an openly gay student at Pine View School for the Gifted in Florida, also organized student walkouts in protest and is the youngest public plaintiff in the state suing over the law formally known as the Parental Rights in Education law, which prohibits the discussion of sexual orientation or gender identity in grades K-3.

Though well beyond third grade, Moricz nevertheless was also banned from speaking up about the law, gender or sexuality. The 18-year-old tweeted, “I am the first openly-gay Class President in my school’s history–this censorship seems to show that they want me to be the last.”

However, during his speech, Moricz still delivered a powerful message about identity. Even if he did have to use a clever metaphor to do it.

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Matthew McConaughey in 2019.

Oscar-winning actor Matthew McConaughey made a heartfelt plea for Americans to “do better” on Tuesday after a gunman murdered 19 children and 2 adults at Robb Elementary School in his hometown of Uvalde, Texas.

Uvalde is a small town of about 16,000 residents approximately 85 miles west of San Antonio. The actor grew up in Uvalde until he was 11 years old when his family moved to Longview, 430 miles away.

The suspected murderer, 18-year-old Salvador Ramos, was killed by law enforcement at the scene of the crime. Before the rampage, Ramos allegedly shot his grandmother after a disagreement.

“As you all are aware there was another mass shooting today, this time in my home town of Uvalde, Texas,” McConaughey wrote in a statement shared on Twitter. “Once again, we have tragically proven that we are failing to be responsible for the rights our freedoms grant us.”

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Joy

Meet Eva, the hero dog who risked her life saving her owner from a mountain lion

Wilson had been walking down a path with Eva when a mountain lion suddenly appeared.

Photo by Didssph on Unsplash

A sweet face and fierce loyalty: Belgian Malinois defends owner.

The Belgian Malinois is a special breed of dog. It's highly intelligent, extremely athletic and needs a ton of interaction. While these attributes make the Belgian Malinois the perfect dog for police and military work, they can be a bit of a handful as a typical pet.

As Belgian Malinois owner Erin Wilson jokingly told NPR, they’re basically "a German shepherd on steroids or crack or cocaine.”

It was her Malinois Eva’s natural drive, however, that ended up saving Wilson’s life.

According to a news release from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Wilson had been walking down a path with Eva slightly ahead of her when a mountain lion suddenly appeared and swiped Wilson across the left shoulder. She quickly yelled Eva’s name and the dog’s instincts kicked in immediately. Eva rushed in to defend her owner.

It wasn’t long, though, before the mountain lion won the upper hand, much to Wilson’s horror.

She told TODAY, “They fought for a couple seconds, and then I heard her start crying. That’s when the cat latched on to her skull.”

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