Sustainability Infrastructure

Maryland lawmakers eye four-day workweek

A new bill would give tax credits to businesses that adopt a 32-hour workweek.
Maryland State Capital Building in Annapolis, Maryland

Story at a glance

  • State lawmakers in Maryland are pushing for a four-day workweek.  

  •  A new bill sponsored by Maryland State Delegate Vaughn Stewart would create a pilot program offing tax credits to businesses adopting a 32-hour workweek.

  • In order to receive the tax credit, businesses must reduce their work week without cutting pay or worker benefits.  

Maryland lawmakers recently introduced a bill to test out a four-day workweek.  

The bill proposed creating a pilot program within the state’s Department of Labor that would promote and incentivize the adoption of a four-day workweek.  

As part of the pilot program, businesses with at least 30 employees who transition to a 32-hour work week without cutting worker pay or benefits will be eligible for a state tax credit.  

America is changing faster than ever! Add Changing America to your Facebook or Twitter feed to stay on top of the news.

Participating businesses must stay in the pilot program for a minimum of one year to receive a tax credit and a maximum of two years, according to the bill.  

Under the bill, the Maryland Department of Labor is barred from issuing more than $750,000 work of tax credit per year until 2028, when the pilot is set to end.  

The bill still needs to pass the Maryland State Senate and then the governor before going into effect. But if the bill passes, the pilot program is scheduled to begin taking effect in July.  

The idea of a four-day workweek has gained popularity in recent years. 

Maryland lawmakers are not the first to push for a four-day workweek. Last year, California lawmakers introduced legislation aimed at creating a four-day workweek as well.  

Under the California bill, lawmakers would change the definition of the workweek from a five, eight-hour-long day to four for companies with more than 500 employees.  

Those employees that work more than 32 hours a week, or four days, would be eligible for overtime pay under the bill.  

A recent study

from the nonprofit 4 Day Week Global in partnership with Boston College, University College Dublin, and Cambridge University found that many companies have a positive experience with a four-day workweek.  

The study — crafted by the nonprofit 4 Day Week Global as well as researchers from Boston College, the University College Dublin, and Cambridge University — looked at the impact of a six-month, four-day workweek trial run on 33 companies.  

At the end of the trial period, about 97 percent of employees wanted to continue.