In late March 2024, California Assemblyman Matt Haney (D-San Francisco) introduced a bill, AB 2751, that would recognize a right for employees in California to “disconnect” or ignore communications from their employer during certain non-work hours.  The Bill, in its current form, requires an employer to establish a workplace policy that will allow employees “the right to disconnect” from communications from their employer during non-working hours, except for emergencies and/or scheduling purposes.  The policy must define working vs. non-working hours and make clear that employees have the right to ignore communications from the employer during the policy’s specified non-working hours.  The proposed law also provides employees the right to file a complaint with the California Labor Commissioner if the employer engages in a pattern of violations of this new law. Finally, the proposed new law states that while violations may not be punished as a misdemeanor, the employer could be subject to a fine of not less than $100 as a result of a pattern of violation of the proposed new law.

The Bill is apparently based on laws that several other countries have enacted implementing similar rights such as Mexico, Australia and France.  The Bill has been referred to the Assembly’s L&E Committee for further consideration.

Opposition to the Bill is already forming, especially in the tech industry, given that many start-ups do not operate according to a “traditional” work hours schedule. More information concerning the proposed new law, and the current opposition thereto, can be found at the following links:

This blog will continue to monitor developments with regard to this new effort in California to implement an employee’s “right to disconnect” law.