work life balance

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.

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