The NEW 32 Hour Workweek

A huge development happened this week. A new bill was introduced in the US Congress called the “Thirty-Two Hour Workweek Act.” We are going to talk about what this means for your business in this video. WATCH NOW

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News article: https://thehill.com/changing-america/enrichment/arts-culture/585054-lawmakers-lining-up-behind-bill-to-bring-4-day-work

VIDEO SUMMARY

This is the one political issue that I talk about on this channel. Every single year, I make a video on the “40-hour work week.” This new bill before congress addresses this specific issue. I saw the news stories and I was in shock. Is this really happening? I wonder if politicians actually watch my YouTube channel.

The bottom line is that workers’ rights is an area the US is so far behind other developed countries around the world. For most US workers, you have no rights. None. Other countries have mandatory  vacation. Mandatory child leave. Mandatory overtime pay. Mandatory rules that you cannot receive work phone calls on the weekends. Here in the United States, most people have nothing. I think it is wrong and it needs to change. Now we are in a time where we face the Great Resignation where so many people are quitting their jobs. What people want from work is not shocking. It is basic rights.

The framework we follow in the United States is called FLSA or Fair Labor Standards Act. This law came about during the Great Depression. Workers were poor, working conditions were horrible, and people said “We’ve had enough. We want to be treated decently at work.” So they passed a bill that established a 40-hour work week for all blue collar workers in America. Any work performed above 40 hours was paid time and a half.

Here is the problem. This bill was passed in 1938. A lot has changed in America since then. In 1938, a majority of the workers in the country were covered by this bill. Today, a very small percentage of the country is considered blue collar workers that have these rights. Everyone else has no rights. Most people watching this video, probably work in accounting or finance. You are a white collar worker. You are probably required to work 60 hours per week, 20 of those hours for free. Just think about that. For one third of your work time, you are not getting paid, and if you complain, you are fired. You have no right to be compensated for your time like blue collar workers can.

Just to show you the numbers… In 1900, only 17.6 percent of total employment were white collar workers. In 2002, that number had increased to 59.9 percent. White collar workers switched from being a very small part of the workforce to being the majority of Americans. We have a very small class of protected workers and everyone else is unprotected. Just looking at these numbers, this is wrong. It is so unfair that a small group get protections while the majority of people do not.

I don’t have more recent numbers because in 2006, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics declared that “the white collar and blue collar series are no longer useful categories” and stopped compiling the data.

Let us take a step back here and look at what has happened over the last century. Since the bill was passed in 1938, business owners have sat behind their desk and said, “I have two classes of workers. One class has protections and the other does not. How can I take advantage of this situation. Let me start to get rid of the protected workers in my business. Let me start shipping those jobs to China. Then I will only be left with the workers who have no rights, and I can make them work for me for free. Bwahahaha.”

You may think I am joking here, but as an accountant, I have had these same exact conversations with business leaders, and I am betting you have as well. I think it is disgusting and it needs to stop. There are places where people are not allowed to take vacation or they get fired. The majority of Americans do not have the most basic rights at work. And there are a lot of bad business leaders out there, and unless they are forced to follow set labor standards, they will continue to take advantage of their workers.

That is what FLSA was supposed to do. It was our attempt to say, “This is the America I want to live in. I want to work 40 hours a week, and if I work more than that, I get paid time and a half.”

I am excited to say that a law is finally in front of Congress addressing this very issue. There are some problems with this legislation so we are going to talk about exactly what it says. It is called the “Thirty Two Hour Workweek Act.” The point of the bill is to reduce the workweek under FLSA from 40 hours to 32 hours.

I am happy that anyone is even talking about worker’s rights. But I must point out the glaring problem with this bill. FLSA no longer covers the majority of Americans. So most likely this bill will not even affect you. FLSA only covers a small percentage of the workforce that can be classified as blue-collar workers.

Someone needs to talk to these politicians, because we do not need the 32 hour work week. Most people would be happy just getting the 40 hour work week.

Here is how you fix the bill. We all just need to be clear and concise about what we want. It is very simple. You just insert one line. This one line would say, “FLSA covers every working American.”

Everyone should get a 40 hour workweek. If you want to work more, that is fine, but you should be paid time and a half. No one should be forced to work for free which is the harsh reality for the majority of Americans today. To be realistic, no one thinks this bill is going to pass. It is currently cosponsored by 16 different members of congress, all Democrats. We need a bi-partisan approach where both Republicans and Democrats sign on. Here is how we get the bill to pass. We just start talking about it. Just start talking about the idea that you deserve a 40 hour workweek. I have talked about this every year. And I read the comments. I know you guys thought I was crazy. But it is actually happening. There is actually a bill. We can do this. And we have done this before in our history. We gave worker’s rights to the majority of Americans, and we can do it again.

Leave a comment down below letting me know what you think!

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Neither Zach De Gregorio or Wolves and Finance shall be liable for any damages related to information in this video. It is recommended you contact a CPA in your area for business advice.

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