Gay Congressman Mark Takano has introduced a bill to shorten the workweek.

Takano, a California Democrat, wants to amend the Fair Labor Standards Act to require overtime pay for non-exempt workers after they reach 32 hours in a week. 

“A 32-hour workweek could revolutionize the workplace to the benefit of employers and employees alike,” Takano tweeted. “This is an opportunity to re-examine how we structure our society to provide fair wages and better quality of life for our workers.”

The current threshold for overtime pay is 40 hours.

Takano introduced the bill July 27, citing a rapidly changing business model upended by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“After the COVID-19 pandemic left so many millions of Americans unemployed or underemployed, a shorter workweek will allow more people to participate in the labor market at better wages,” Takano said in a press release. “This is a groundbreaking piece of legislation and I’m grateful to the organizations and colleagues that firmly stand behind it. I look forward to continuing the work on this issue so that people may experience the best possible working conditions — the working conditions they deserve.”

The bill has the endorsement of the AFL-CIO, Economic Policy Institute, Service Employees International Union, National Employment Law Project and the United Food and Commercial Workers Union. 

Takano, 60, grew up in Riverside, California. His grandparents and parents were sent to Japanese American Internment camps during World War II. In 2012, Takano, who represents California’s 41st District, became the first openly gay person of color elected to Congress.


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