NYC Considering After-Hours Work E-mail Ban

According to Gallup data, more than one-third of full-time workers say they frequently check e-mail outside of “normal working hours,” whatever that means in today’s 24/7 working culture.

But a bill introduced in the New York City Council recently gives employees the right to disconnect from work-related e-mails after office hours. That’s right, the new bill actually makes it illegal for employers to demand that employees respond to e-mails, texts or calls after work hours. The bill’s author, council member Rafael Espinal, said it was a way to ensure that employees were taking much-needed breaks from work, which in turn would boost their performance in the office.

“Studies have shown that if employees disconnect, whether it’s from the internet, leaving the office, etc. …then they come back and do a better job,” Espinal told FOX Business’ Stuart Varney during a recent interview. “This is great for business, this is great for the employers.”

If passed, employers found to be in violation of the law would pay a fine of $250 directly to the employee. “It’s up to the employee to decide at the moment whether they want to talk,” Espinal said. Hmmmm…

Could the power be shifting from employer to employee with this type of legislation? Will more cities and states adopt it? And is this the role of government (city gov’t in this case) to levy fines against employers like this?

Ruling HR (and your world) is all about staying in front of interesting trends like this so you’re prepared if/when they affect YOUR company. If you have any questions about the complex, confusing and ever-changing world of HR, health insurance and employee benefits, my team of experts is always on-call and ready to help (you know, within working hours that is!)

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NYC after-hours work email ban ‘great for business’, councilman says

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