A bill recently introduced by Congressman Mark Takano would reduce the American workweek from 40 to 32 hours to alleviate the exhaustion of overtime and help employees feel they are being paid fairly, according to Takano’s website.

Takano, D-Riverside, is pushing for the 32-Hour Workweek Act because workers are toiling longer hours, above the 40-hour work load, and their pay is remaining stagnant.

Under the proposed legislation, people can work overtime, beyond the 32 hours, and any overtime pay would make them feel like they worked 40 hours with current pay.

Other countries have been considering similar programs. Spain has thought about reducing its workweek to 32 hours and Finland and New Zealand have expressed support.

Chris Nielson, executive director of the Highland Chamber of Commerce, said he was not familiar with the legislation, but that the issue did not bring up any concerns.

“I personally don’t have thoughts on it one way or another,” Nielson said.

Judi Penman, president and chief executive officer of the San Bernardino Area Chamber of Commerce, was not happy hearing about the proposed legislation.

“It appears to me that our legislators have never owned a business or know the struggles of what it’s like to meet payroll,’’ Penman said. “Yet they introduce more laws to make it more difficult for anyone to remain in business.”

Christopher Alvarez, executive director of the Redlands Chamber of Commerce said, “Admittedly, the Chamber’s Government Review Committee has not reviewed this yet, but the bill came into the news after our last meeting. So, we have no official stance on this piece of proposed legislation.

“However, in a recent interview with Reuters, Congressman Takano said himself that ‘employers won’t like it.’ I can understand what he is trying to achieve, but I think there are some more fundamental issues to be tackled first, before considering a 32-hour workweek. As he stated, we are having a hard time getting more employees into the many open jobs we have.

“If businesses are struggling to get enough employees, this bill seems like it would do more harm than help to businesses. Businesses are likely paying the few employees they have 40 hours a week, and are also understaffed. An effort on helping our local businesses, which fuels our local economy, seems far more prudent at this time.”

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