Utah AG allows workers a 4-day work week

Chris Rizo Jul. 21, 2008, 1:45am

Mark Shurtleff (R)

Jon Huntsman Jr. (R)

SALT LAKE CITY (Legal Newsline)-The Utah attorney general's office is allowing its staff to work four 10-hour days, under a plan by Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr.

"We believe in conservation, and we support the governor," state Attorney General Mark Shurtleff said.. "We're not mandating every employee go to four 10s."

A potential wrinkle in the plan is that the state courts remain open five days a week, the Deseret Morning News reported Monday.

The Republican attorney general said he is leaving it to his chief deputies to help employees take advantage of the governor's plan, which is aimed at saving the state and its employees money.

For his part, Shurtleff told the newspaper he will likely continue a five-day workweek.

"I'll be working Fridays, I guarantee you," he said. "We told our secretaries they don't have to be there on Fridays, but for me it's pretty much 24/7."

Huntsman has ordered that executive branch employees switch to a Monday-through-Thursday work week beginning Aug. 4. The order does not affect the AG's office, however.

Utah Administrative Services Director Kim Hood has said the state expects to be able to close about 1,000 buildings for an extra day a week under the governor's plan.

The move would cut energy use by about 20 percent and save a estimated $3 million a year when the program is fully implemented.

Officials in Oklahoma, Virginia and West Virginia are considering whether to provide workers a four-day work week to cut costs. Eyes will undoubtedly be on the Beehive State to see how well its plan works.

From Legal Newsline: Reach reporter Chris Rizo at chrisrizo@legalnewsline.com.

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