PRC Looks To Pass “Right To Disconnect” Law For Workers

On the heels of their $20 minimum wage for restaurants law, which is seeing businesses raise prices, cut employees, and even close, the People’s Republik Of California is going to try something else to mess with the economy

California could become first state to give workers a ‘right to disconnect’

unintended consequencesCalifornia could become the first state in the country to give workers a “right to disconnect” under a new bill.

Assembly Bill 2751, introduced by Asm. Matt Haney (D-San Francisco) on Monday, would guarantee workers in the Golden State the ability to have uninterrupted personal and family time by giving them the ability to disengage from emails, texts and calls during non-work hours.

“Work has changed drastically compared to what it was just 10 years ago. Smartphones have blurred the boundaries between work and home life,” Haney said in a statement. “Workers shouldn’t be punished for not being available 24/7 if they’re not being paid for 24 hours of work.”

With the proposed changes, both public and private employers would be required to establish a right-to-disconnect policy for their workplace, permitting them to ignore communications when they are off the clock.

What’s that saying, “the road to Hell is paved with good intentions”? Any non-exempt employees, those who typically get paid hourly, are required to be paid under the Fair Labor Standards Act if they are contacted when they are off the clock. If this happens, what could happen? Perhaps some are converted to salaried, making them exempt. Perhaps companies look for workers who are interested in extra work. The law would allow employees to be contacted for emergencies and scheduling, which are the primary reasons employees are contacted when not at work.

This type of law seems like a good intention, but, it can cause unnecessary confusion, and could drive more businesses out of California. They are overly broad, and do not allow for employee choice. And it’s just the heavy hand of government controlling even more of the economy.

Save $10 on purchases of $49.99 & up on our Fruit Bouquets at Promo Code: FRUIT49
If you liked my post, feel free to subscribe to my rss feeds.

Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed

6 Responses to “PRC Looks To Pass “Right To Disconnect” Law For Workers”

  1. Dana says:

    Call it what it really is: right to career limitation.

    Once cell phones came into common existence, I had all sorts of customers and co-workers who would call me at home. No, not every day, but when contractors need something, or there’s an emergency at work, those things need to be attended to. The ready-mixed concrete industry is very recession-sensitive, and I kept my job, and earned promotions, when others did not, because it was known that I was reliable. I kept my job, and earned promotions, when people senior to me fell by the wayside, because the company could always count on me.

    Businesses quickly find out which employees are good, and which are mediocre. The ones who are good can build careers; the ones who are mediocre just have jobs.

    • Elwood P. Dowd says:

      As long as the employer lets the employee is “on-call” and is compensated it’s no problem. And yes, if the employee chooses not to be contacted.

  2. Kye says:

    The ones who are good can build careers; the ones who are mediocre just have jobs.

    And that is the difference between owners and entrepreneurs or workers an hourly wage earners.

  3. unklc says:

    Spent a significant portion of my career ‘on call’, you get used to it as does your family. In the days before cel phones, we had wire phones, pagers, and 2-way radios. Auntie Em complained mostly about the radio, if I forgot to turn down the volume….sometimes, late at night, chaos. My dispatchers knew if I was away, who to contact and they knew they were on call. Someone has to do it, and the compensation is not always what you would like. Government legislation will probably only make more folks unhappy.

  4. JimS says:

    Back in the Elder Days, I was a service guy in the mainframe computer industry. We were hourly rather than salaried and if we were officially on call, we got one hour’s pay for every four on call. Mostly weekends and holidays since we had someone on site around the clock on week days.

  5. Professor Hale says:

    Seems to me like this is a law that doesn’t need to exist. Workers are already free to seek better jobs with hours they agree to work. There are already plenty of fair labor practice regulations that will let employees sue for damages if they are required to perform uncompensated work. Further, everyone with a phone has been smart enough to “let the machine answer it” for about 50 years now. And since the Biden Economy has produced the best labor market in forever, employers will bargain fairly with valuable employees to get the help they need in a competitive market, likely offering perks like “we will never call you at home” and “If we call you after hours, you get a YUGE bonus”.

    THe free market takes care of stuff like this every time it is allowed to. Of course, if the Biden administration has been lying to us about the labor market and people in reality are worried about losing their jobs because they may not find another one, then I suppose it is fair game for Democrats to propose another law to lower the bar for everyone… again. Once again, employers will be required to cover those extra costs with no limit in sight. And if they go out of business, well that’s just because “capitalism doesn’t work”.

Pirate's Cove