Have you ever been winding down after a really, really stressful workday with a bottle of wine and some Netflix when you hear your phone go off and it’s an email from your boss? We’ve all been there. In the age where everything is done online and via email/slack/texting, it’s almost impossible to truly “log off” from work. No matter what profession you’re in, there are those moments where you’re still answering emails at 9:30 p.m. Well, if you live in New York City, you may be in luck.
Raphael Espinal, a City Council member who represents several Brooklyn neighborhoods is introducing a bill that gives workers in NYC “the right to disconnect.” Espinal said in a statement to Time Out New York:
“It’s 2018, and a lot of our work has gone digital, which has made it easier for employees to access their work emails or messages from home. I think it’s important for people to know that they can draw a line as to when their work day begins and when it ends. This bill protects work-life balance, and, for employers, ensures that their employees are working at their optimal level.”
Essentially, the bill would make it illegal for bosses and employers to contact employees and make them do any “over-time” work outside of their regular scheduled hours. Espinal said he’s gotten some positive feedback from workers and employees so far, but many believe that in New York City, workers should always be accessible and “on call.” Espinal states that it’s time to separate work and leisure, as many other countries have implemented this–such as France, Germany, Italy and the Philippines.
Espinal is presenting the bill this week to City Council, but, he hopes that if it passes, he can push it further and meet with Committee on Consumer Affairs and Business Licensing. If the bill does pass and employers are found guilty of contacting employees after hours, it would essentially start an investigation of the business with the Department of Consumer Affairs. If found guilty, the business would be slapped with civil fines