California Considers Legislation to Protect Workers’ Off-Hours Time

A new proposal in California might give workers the legal right to ignore messages from their bosses once the workday is over.

In recent years, the pressure to respond to work messages after hours has increased, especially with remote work becoming more common during the pandemic. This has led to worker burnout, prompting many countries to consider “right to disconnect” laws.

Democrat Assemblyman Matt Haney from San Francisco wants to add California to the list of places with such laws. He introduced a bill in February that is currently being reviewed in the state legislature.

If the bill passes in its current form, it would require employers, both public and private, to create workplace policies allowing employees to disconnect from employer communications outside of working hours, except in emergencies or for scheduling purposes.

Workers would have the right to ignore messages from their employers during nonworking hours, as established by a written agreement between the workers and their employers.

Employers who violate this rule could face a civil penalty of at least $100.

California Considers Legislation to Protect Workers' Off-Hours Time

If passed, California would be the first state in the country to enact such a law, although several countries have already done so. France was the first to implement a right-to-disconnect law in 2017.

Studies have shown that workers are healthier, happier, and more productive after such laws are passed.

Assemblyman Haney believes that giving workers the right to disconnect will benefit California’s workforce and make the state’s tech sector more competitive for skilled workers.

The proposal aims to address the growing issue of work-life balance and reduce stress among employees.

FOX Business reached out to Assemblyman Haney’s office for further comment.

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