There’s a bill on the table at the New York City legislature that would give employees the “right to disconnect” from their employers. The bill proposes a fine of $250 to any employer who punishes their employee for not responding to calls, emails, texts or instant messages after regular working hours.
Council members believe the bill would have a positive effect both on the employee and workplace culture as a whole. According to a 2016 study, the habit of pushing employees to respond after-hours causes “anticipatory stress,” fostering a boundless, “always-on” culture.
This kind of environment might seem like a boon to employers, but the negative effects are more insidious — high burnout rates, low productivity and employee resentment.
NYC representatives feel this bill will help create some accountability amongst managers to regulate after-work communication, and nurture a healthier, more respectful work-life balance.