Employees Disconnecting — A Possible New California Law

Lots of us are more or less forced to reply to phone calls, texts or emails from the boss in non-work hours. A new law proposed in the California Legislature would give employees the “right to disconnect” during non-work hours, and an employer cannot penalize them for that disconnect.

San Francisco Assemblymember Matt Haney introduced the bill in the Assembly in February. If it passes — in very liberal California with its fast food worker wage of $20 per hour up from $16 a week ago — the Golden State might become the first state in the union to do so.

As it stands now, 13 countries including Australia, Argentina, Belgium, France, Italy, Mexico, Portugal and Spain, have a similar law on the books.

Haney’s bill defines “right to disconnect” as the right for an employee to completely ignore communications during non-work hours unless it is for an emergency, or for scheduling. The bill defines both.

If the law passes, private and public employers will be required to develop a workplace policy, and a written agreement, that allows an employee to disconnect. Non-working hours have to be defined within that policy. If an employee violates the written agreement, an employee has the right to file a complaint with the California Labor Commissioner.

Source link: USA TODAY — https://bit.ly/3JcLfG1

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