IR # 97-22
Friday, April 11, 1997

Rick Rice
Louis Bonsignore
(415) 972-8835

Industrial Welfare Commission Adopts Flexible Workweek Proposal

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Industrial Welfare Commission, in a public meeting held today in San Francisco, voted to amend California's overtime regulations covering the following occupations and industries: Manufacturing; mechanical, clerical, technical and professional occupations; hotels, restaurants, and hospitals (public housekeeping), retail, wholesale and sales (mercantile), and the transportation industry.

Today's decision by the Industrial Welfare Commission (IWC) conforms California's overtime regulations with those of the Federal government and 47 other states. The change will require overtime to be paid only after 40 hours in a week rather than after 8 hours in a day, as is currently mandated. This change will provide for flexible scheduling of work hours within that 40 hour period and according to a Hoover Institution study, is likely to result in an additional $500 million in annualy earned income for California workers.

Workers employed in the industries or occupations listed above, who are covered by collective bargaining agreements, are not affected by the change in the wage orders, since these agreements supersede these regulations. Also there will be no change for private sector exempt employees, such as doctors, lawyers, other professionals and executives. In addition, federal employees, state and local goverment employees and those employed by the state Legislature remain unaffected by today's action.

Voting in favor of the proposal today were employer representatives Robyn Black and Cynthia Neff, and labor representative Syed Alam. In opposition were labor representative Charles Center and public representative John McCarthy.

The change may become effective on only two dates during the year, July 1 or January 1. Although it is possible that public notice and procedural requirements may be met for a July 1, 1997 effective date, it is more likely that today's changes will become effective on January 1, 1998. In either case, 60 days advance notice will be provided to employers and employees in California.