What to Know
- A New York City bill would make it illegal for employers to demand their workers to respond to work emails during non-work hours
- The proposed legislation is similar to a law passed in France last year
- The bill outlines that employers found in violation will have to pay a $500 fine for the first offense
A New York City bill would make it illegal for employers to demand their workers to respond to work emails during non-work hours.
City Councilman Rafael Espinal introduced a bill Thursday that aims to make it illegal for private employees in New York City to be required to check and respond to their work emails or take part in work-related electronic communications during non-work hours.
Disconnecting from work would not apply in instances of overtime or in cases of emergencies, according to the proposal.
If passed, the bill would also prohibit employers from taking action against employees for not responding to electronic communications.
This proposal would apply to an employer with more than 10 workers.
Espinal's proposed legislation is similar to a law passed in France last year. The French law requires businesses with 50 or more employees to negotiate after-hours email rules with their employees, ultimately giving the workers the right to ignore the communications.
Similar to France’s law, under Espinal’s bill, employers would also be required to “adopt a written policy regarding the use” of electronic devices for work-related communications during non-work hours.
Those found in violation would be subject to $500 for the first offense. There will be an increase in fines for further violations if they occur within a two-year period.