“Thirty-Two Hour Work Week Act”” Introduced By Bernie Sanders

(NewsSpace.com) – Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) has always been of a progressive mind and has tried to push his agenda for the past four decades. He’s not afraid to tackle hot-button issues and make his voice heard on controversial issues. Now, he’s introduced a new act in the Senate that has drawn mixed reactions.

The Act

With the introduction of the Thirty-Two Hour Workweek Act, Sanders hopes to amend the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, which established a 40-hour workweek. It would lower the number of regular working hours to 32, and after working 8 hours in a single day, employees would receive overtime pay at a rate of one and a half times the normal rate. If they work more than 12 hours a day, they would receive double pay.

Additionally, Sanders is adamant that the 32 hours would be paid at the same rate as 40, meaning there would be “no loss in pay.”

Sanders released a statement justifying the act, too, saying that “it’s not a radical idea,” and noting that today’s “workers are over 400 percent more productive than they were in the 1940s.” He further claimed that the advancements in technology, AI, and automation “must benefit the working class, not just corporate CEOs and wealthy stockholders.”

Cutting back the workweek without a loss in pay would help to alleviate Americans’ stress, Sanders says, and improve their quality of life. Currently, there are more than 8 million people who work multiple jobs, with more than half of those working a full-time and part-time job just to make ends meet. He pointed to other countries that implemented this successfully, including Denmark, France, and Norway, and the success of pilot programs.

The bill has many supporters, including United Auto Workers President Shawn Fain, who said Americans work for less money, retire much later in life, and don’t often get to enjoy it like they could. He further acknowledged that “working-class people aren’t lazy. They’re fed up,” per NBC News.

Not Everyone Is On Board

While the legislation does have supporters, it also has those who believe the bill would do more harm than good. Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA), for instance, claims that the reduced workweek would be detrimental to small businesses, trades, and restaurants. He acknowledged it could be beneficial at first, but would likely lead to mass layoffs.

Cassidy said it’s all about “balance,” and this legislation, if passed, would “disrup[t] that balance,” and could result in the US losing the status of being the wealthiest nation in the world.

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