California introduces ‘right to disconnect’ bill that would allow employees to possibly relax

Anger. There are few laws in the United States that prevent employers from forcing workers to sit at their desks or be on the phone all the time, but that could change soon. California Secretary of State Matt Haney introduced AB 2751, a “right to opt-out” proposal. San Francisco Standard reports.

The bill is in its early stages but, if passed, it would require California employers to report exactly what an employee’s hours are and ensure that they are not required to respond to work communications outside of those hours. The length of time a salaried employee may be required to work overtime must be specified in their contract. Exceptions may apply in the event of an accident.

The Department of Labor oversees compliance and fines companies at least $100 for infractions — whether it’s forcing employees to be on Zoom, their inboxes, answering texts or managing Slack when they’re not being paid to do so. “I think it’s fitting that California, which has developed so many technologies, is the state that defines how we design to maintain and improve our security in the time we live in and the world we’ve created,” Haney said. The Standard.

It’s unclear what support there is for AB 2751, but as a technology hub and a major economic hub, the bill has the potential to make California workers more involved, and force other states to follow suit. The bill follows similar laws in other states. In 2017, France became the first country implement a “right to unsubscribe” policy.a model that was copied in Argentina, Ireland, Mexico and Spain.

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