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California Proposes Bill for Right to Disconnect from Work

22 May

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Update Applicable to:Effective date
Potentially all employers of any size with at least 1 worker in CaliforniaSee details below


What happened?

The proposed bill would mandate that employers establish policies that allow employees to disconnect from employment communications during non-working hours and would not allow them to contact the employees outside of working hours except in the event of an “emergency” or “scheduling.”


What are the details?

The proposed legislation would give workers the right not to respond to inquiries made outside of working hours. 


Key Bites:

  • Under the bill, employers can only contact employees during non-working hours during an emergency or for scheduling, as defined in the bill.
  • Employers that repeatedly violate this mandate would be subject to administrative complaints and fines
  • The bill does not apply to employees covered by a valid collective bargaining agreement (CBA).
  • The bill is inspired by laws adopted in several countries that prohibit contacting employees beyond work hours or requiring compensation for on-call time if the worker is expected to be available to respond.
  • It would require employers to create a policy that provides employees with the right to disconnect from communications with the employer during non-working hours.

According to some law firms like the CDF labor law, “Despite its purported good intentions, A.B. 2751 is fraught with ambiguities and questionable practical application, leaving a chasm for misinterpretation and abuse.


Business Considerations

  • Although the bill still has a long way to go, employers should be proactive and take steps to tackle this beforehand.
  • Take into consideration other applicable laws, such as wage and hour laws that normally require employers to pay hourly or overtime for “extra time” after hours.
  • Employers should account for the nature of their business to create a tailored suit policy according to their needs.
  • Prepare to delegate to third parties some of the workload. So, plan accordingly and budget for it.


Source References


Resources

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This communication is intended solely for the purpose of conveying information. The present post might incorporate hyperlinks directing readers to websites managed by third-party entities. The inclusion of any links within this communication is meant to serve as points of reference and could encompass opinion articles from various law firms, articles from HR associations, official websites, news releases, and documents of government agencies, and other relevant third-party sources. Vensure has no authority over these external websites and bears no responsibility for their content. Furthermore, Vensure does not endorse the materials present on these websites. The contents of this communication should not be interpreted as legal advice or as a legal standpoint concerning specific facts or scenarios. Nor should it be deemed an exhaustive compilation of facts potentially pertinent to federal, state, or local laws. It is strongly advised that employers solicit legal guidance from an employment attorney when undertaking actions in response to any legal updates provided. This is due to the possibility of future alterations occurring in federal, state, and local laws, regulations, as well as the directives and guidelines issued by governing agencies. These changes may transpire at any given time, potentially rendering certain portions of the content within this update void or inaccurate.

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