California Bill Gives Workers The Right To Ignore Calls After Work


A proposed bill in the California legislature seeks to grant employees the “right to disconnect” from work-related communications during nonworking hours, aiming to protect their personal time and well-being.

Assembly Bill AB-2751, titled “Employer Communications During Nonworking Hours,” was introduced by assembly member Matt Haney of San Francisco on February 15, 2024.

The bill aims to amend Section 1198.2 of the Labor Code to address employer-employee communications outside of regular working hours.

Under the proposed legislation, employers would be required to establish workplace policies granting employees the right to ignore communications from their employers outside of designated working hours, except in cases of emergency or scheduling needs.

Nonworking hours are defined as periods before and after an employee’s assigned work hours, as outlined in their job description or otherwise agreed upon in writing.

The bill also empowers employees to file complaints with the Labor Commissioner in cases of repeated violations of the right to disconnect, with penalties imposed on employers found to be in breach of the legislation. It emphasizes that the right to disconnect is essential for maintaining a healthy work-life balance and protecting employees’ mental and physical well-being.

Assembly Member Haney underscores the importance of this legislation in recognizing the evolving nature of work in the technological age. By establishing clear boundaries between work and personal time, the bill aims to mitigate the potential for burnout and stress associated with constant accessibility to work-related communications.

If passed, this bill would represent a significant step towards ensuring that employees have the opportunity to fully disconnect from work obligations during their nonworking hours, promoting greater overall well-being and work-life balance in the California workforce.