Given the ever-increasing reliance on digital technology, employees are more and more tethered to their smartphones – checking email during their commute, at the dinner table, and even from their beds – essentially creating a never-ending work day. This endless cycle of communication has become a part of our work culture here in the US, however the view on this in other areas of the world is quite different. A bill filed by a New York City councilman aims to curtail this trend. The bill, introduced on March 22, 2018, would prohibit employers in the city of New York from requiring employees to check and respond to work-related electronic communications outside of usual work hours.
The proposed bill would make it unlawful for any employer with 10 or more employees to require an employee to access work-related electronic communications (i.e., email and texts) outside of such employee’s usual work hours, except in cases of emergency. An “emergency” is broadly defined as a “sudden and serious event, or an unforeseen change in circumstances, that calls for immediate action to avert, control or remedy harm.”
A summary of other key provisions of the proposed bill are as follows:
We will continue to monitor the status of the bill and provide updates accordingly.