California Four-Day Workweek Bill Halted
Workspan Daily
May 13, 2022

A proposal from California Democrats to institute a statewide four-day workweek for hourly employees has been shelved, according to a recent Wall Street Journal report.

Evan Low, the Democratic state assembly member who co-wrote the proposed legislation, said the bill failed to advance after the California State Assembly’s Labor and Employment Committee declined to set it for a policy hearing, effectively ending the bill’s chances of progressing in the current legislative session.

According to the WSJ, the proposal would have required private-sector employers with more than 500 employees to pay hourly workers overtime after logging more than 32 hours a week. California Democrats introduced the bill earlier this year after a number of recent corporate experiments with a four-day workweek.

Lawmakers decided against advancing the bill, given there was too little time to fully study its implications before taking the next legislative step, Low said.

Still, he said he wasn’t giving up on legislating a four-day workweek. Low told WSJ he plans to hold an informational hearing with stakeholders to better understand what changes would need to be made to the bill to give it a better shot of advancing.

LinkedIn Agrees to Pay $1.8 Million to Women Over Discrimination Claims

As reported by the New York Times, LinkedIn has reached an agreement with the U.S. Department of Labor to pay $1.8 million to female employees who the agency said received far less compensation than their male colleagues from 2015 to 2017.

According to a statement released by the agency, LinkedIn denied equal pay to 686 women working in its San Francisco office and at its headquarters in Sunnyvale, Calif. The women worked in engineering, marketing and product roles.

During a routine evaluation, the agency found that the women in question had been paid “at a statistically significant lower rate” than their male counterparts even after taking “legitimate explanatory factors” into account, according to the conciliation agreement between LinkedIn and the Labor Department.

In a statement, LinkedIn, which is owned by Microsoft, denied that it discriminated against certain employees.

“While we have agreed to settle this matter, we do not agree with the government’s claim,” the statement said.

The settlement includes around $1.75 million in back pay and more than $50,000 in interest to be paid to the women, according to the conciliation agreement.

As part of the settlement, LinkedIn also agreed to send the agency reports over the next three years as it evaluates its compensation policies and makes salary adjustments, the Labor Department said. The company agreed to run an employee training program on “nondiscrimination obligations.”

Tesla Announces It Will Cover Travel Costs for Workers Seeking Abortions

Tesla has announced that it will start covering travel costs for employees seeking out-of-state abortions, reported the Associated Press.

The company said in its 2021 “Impact Report,” released May 6, that it expanded its Safety Net program and health insurance offerings last year to include “travel and lodging support for those who may need to seek healthcare services that are unavailable in their home state.”

The car maker officially moved its corporate headquarters last year from Silicon Valley to Texas, which passed a law banning abortions at roughly six weeks of pregnancy.

Tesla joins a growing list of companies offering workers help with abortion care as states have introduced new restrictions. Amazon also recently announced it would cover its U.S. employees’ expenses when they travel to access non-threatening medical procedures, including abortions.

Carvana to Lay Off 2,500 Employees

According to Reuters, Carvana announced it would lay off about 2,500 employees, or 12% of its workforce, as the online used-car retailer works to get back to profitability weeks after it reported dismal results.

Carvana has missed expectations for earnings in the last three quarters as expenses soared and demand for used cars slipped due to sky high prices and inventory shortages, Reuters reported.

Tempe, Arizona-based Carvana had more than 21,000 full-time and part-time employees at the end of Dec. 31, as per its latest annual filing.

On May 10, Carvana said that all impacted team members, primarily in operational groups, would receive four weeks of pay and an additional week for every year that they have been with the company.

The company also said that its executive team would forego their salaries for the remainder of the year.

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