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Ohio community signs bill to reduce work week of full-time employees to 32 hours

Newburgh Heights is known is known for some innovative programs to attract residents and employees. A shorter work week is the latest addition.

NEWBURGH HEIGHTS, Ohio — Work 32 hours a week, but get paid for 40. That sounds like a dream, right?

It's becoming a reality in the village of Newburgh Heights. 

On Tuesday, Mayor Trevor Elkins introduced legislation to reduce the standard work week of full-time employees to 32 hours per week. The take-home pay of employees will stay the same and they will still receive their full-time benefits.

Newburgh Heights Village Council unanimously adopted the policy. 

According to a release from the village, the new policy is intended to provide personnel with an improved work-life balance, while also providing a competitive recruiting and retention advantage. 

“We are always looking for ways to improve the lives of our residents. By implementing employee-friendly policies that help us recruit and retain talent in innovative ways, we are meeting that goal in a fiscally responsible manner,” said Mayor Elkins in a statement. 

For workers who have children, the extra day means more time to spend at home with family. For the village, it's a change that could slow turnover of employees looking for better opportunities. 

The village says they'll be hiring four or five safety and service employees to make up for the lost work hours. The new hires will still cost less than giving huge pay raises across the board to those who work 40 hours. 

Newburgh Heights has been known for innovative programs to attract residents and employees in the past. The village has implemented a Family Leave plan, and a Student Loan Assistance program. This time, they're looking for quality workers willing to embrace the village long-term.

"Here in Newburgh Heights, we're willing to take some risks because we have to," Mayor Elkins adds. 

Although there are a growing number of private enterprises utilizing the 32-hour work week, the village of Newburgh Heights believes it may be the first community in the nation to implement the practice.