Saturday, November 26, 2022

Assembly Labor Committee Nixes Flexible Workweek Bill

A California Chamber of Commerce-supported job creator bill allowing an employee-selected flexible work schedule failed to pass the Assembly Labor and Employment Committee this week.

AB 2482 (Voepel; R-Santee) sought to provide employees the ability to request an alternative workweek schedule on an individualized basis.

The bill relieves employers of the administrative cost and burden of adopting an alternative workweek schedule per division, which accommodates employees, helps retain employees, and allows the employer to invest these savings into growing its workforce.

In testimony to the committee, CalChamber Policy Advocate Laura Curtis pointed out that California is one of only three states that requires employers to pay daily overtime after 8 hours of work and weekly overtime after 40 hours of work.

Even the other two states that impose daily overtime requirements allow the employer and employee to waive the daily 8-hour overtime requirement through a written agreement.

California, however, provides no such common-sense alternative. Rather, California requires employers to navigate through a multi-step process to have employees elect an alternative workweek schedule that, once adopted, must be “regularly” scheduled.

The process is filled with potential traps that could lead to costly litigation, as one misstep may render the entire alternative workweek schedule invalid and leave the employer on the hook for claims of unpaid overtime wages.

Curtis emphasized that only 2.3% of California employers are using the alternative workweek schedule option.

Under current law, an individual can’t have an alternative workweek schedule unless they are the only person in their work unit, she noted.

As opponents have said, she observed, “The workforce is changing, but the workplace is not.” AB 2482 provides a step toward change that will add flexibility for employees and employers.

The bill leaves in place the numerous protections California law provides employees.

Key Vote

Assembly Labor and Employment rejected AB 2482 on April 25, 2-5:

Ayes: Flora (R-Ripon), Melendez (R-Lake Elsinore).

Noes: Thurmond (D-Richmond), Jones-Sawyer (D-South Los Angeles), Gonzalez Fletcher (D-San Diego), Kalra (D-San Jose), McCarty (D-Sacramento).

Staff Contact: Laura Curtis

Laura E. Curtis
Laura E. Curtis
Laura E. Curtis served as a CalChamber policy advocate from December 2017 to March 4, 2020. She specialized in labor and employment, workers’ compensation, and regulatory reform issues. Before joining the CalChamber policy team, she was a labor and employment attorney counseling clients on subjects including wage-and-hour disputes, harassment, discrimination, retaliation, Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) claims, and administrative agency compliance. Curtis holds a B.A. in communications with a minor in political science from the University of California, San Diego. She earned a J.D. from Santa Clara University School of Law, where she worked on the International Law Journal. See full bio.

Related Articles

School’s Back in Session: Recap of Leaves Available to Working Parents

In Episode 159 of The Workplace podcast, CalChamber Labor and Employment Vice President Bianca Saad and CalChamber employment law expert Matthew Roberts provide a refresher on school-related leaves of absence and labor laws, including...

Two Approaches to Worker Scheduling

In Episode 149 of The Workplace podcast, CalChamber employment law expert Matthew Roberts and CalChamber policy advocate Ashley Hoffman discuss AB 2932 (Low; D-Campbell), a proposal that would impose overtime requirements after 32 hours,...

Flexible Work Schedule Bill Gets Support from Chambers

The California Chamber of Commerce and a coalition including numerous local chambers of commerce are supporting legislation that allows for an employee-selected flexible work schedule. AB 1761 (Voepel; R-Santee) relieves employers of the administrative cost...