A proposed NYC bill, which was put forward by Brooklyn Councilman Rafael Espinal Jr, would fine employers who employ 10 or more people if they required their staff to respond to emails after-hours. The bill would not apply to government employees.
The proposed legislation is based off a 2017 French law, which allows workers the right to disconnect from all electronic forms of communication after work hours. It also requires companies that employ more than 50 people to establish guidelines on how to deal with after hour’s communication.
As with the introduction of the French law, the main challenges centre on flexibility and autonomy, particularly for those who work from home or irregular hours. However, this bill should encourage conversations between employees who work together about what their expectations are in regards to communication. Overall, should this pass, it could help create better boundaries between work and home/personal life, and help reduce burnout and stress amongst employees.