Bill could prohibit off the clock calls, messages

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California could become first state to give employees the right to disconnect.

SAN DIEGO — A newly introduced bill would give California workers the right to ignore non-emergency messages and calls from their boss while they're off the clock."I think working as a teacher we always bring our work home and are always working weekends. I think that would be beneficial to not give up our precious home time with our kids," said Brenda, an elementary school teacher.Californoa Assemblymember Matt Haney, D-San Francisco introduced the bill.

"It used to be that you clocked in, worked really hard then clocked out and went home with your family and resting. Now we have this work culture that's a consequence of 24/7 accessibility," he said. He says a dozen countries already have similar laws. This includes France, Portugal, Italy and Spain. He says studies show workers are happier and more productive with time to disconnect.

"My workplace we're encouraged to never look at emails or work phones after hours," said Gabriela Gabriel, who works for a nonprofit. "Working in the nonprofit world sometimes, the emotional toll is a little heavy. Being able to disconnect from that is great to keep your sanity and keep the hope alive we're making a difference," she said.

The state's labor commission could investigate and fine employers with repeated violations of the right to disconnect. Emergencies and scheduling purposes would be an exception to the rule. KFMB would like to send you push notifications about the latest news and weather.

 

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