A 4-Day Work Week in Mass.? Lawmakers File Legislation Calling for Pilot Program

Democratic state Reps. Josh Cutler and Dylan Fernandes have proposed a 2-year program to test out the concept

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The push for a 4-day work week is gaining traction here in Massachusetts.

Two Democratic state lawmakers -- Reps. Josh Cutler and Dylan Fernandes -- are looking to create a pilot program, filing legislation this week to test out a 4-day work week without cutting workers' pay, status or benefits.

The 2-year test run, entitled the "Massachusetts Smart Work Week Pilot," would give tax credits to employers willing to try out a 4-day work week and report their findings so experts can study how it would impact workers and businesses.

“In this era of tight labor markets, we need to get creative to keep our economy growing,” Cutler, who serves as House Chairman of the Joint Committee on Labor and Workforce Development, said on Twitter. “This bill creates new incentives for Massachusetts businesses to explore shifting to a four-day work week which can offer a myriad of benefits, including boosting worker satisfaction and productivity, and reducing absenteeism and commuting time.”

"As we work to make Massachusetts a premier destination for businesses and workers, we must prioritize workforce health and happiness," Fernandes said. "By creating more time for family, friends, and leisure through a three-day weekend, we can attract and retain top talent, boost productivity, and promote a dynamic and innovative economy that benefits all residents."

Other similar programs around the world have found that a 3-day weekend can lead to increased productivity, happier employees and fewer carbon emissions.

The pilot program would be run by the Executive Officer of Labor and workforce Development, Cutler said.

You can read the full proposal below:

Cutler said Boston College sociology professor Juliet Schor and the nonprofit organization 4 Day Week US worked with him and Fernandes on the legislation.

“Is the four day week really the success story for employees, companies, and the climate that research to date suggests? This innovative and well-designed program will answer that question and put Massachusetts in the forefront of a long overdue change in how we work,” Schor said in a statement.

“The 4 Day Week is proving to be an invaluable investment wherever it is implemented. Organizations see rising productivity, people are happier and healthier, and the benefits only scale up from there. With this bill, Massachusetts is poised to lead the nation towards a better future,” added Jon Steinman, 4 Day Week US founder and board member.

If lawmakers agree to the pilot program, the state would be looking for employers from all industries to apply, especially companies owned by people with disabilities, veterans, minorities and women.

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