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This U.S. State Is Trying to Pass a Law That Fines Your Boss for Emailing You After Hours A "right to disconnect" law, Assembly Bill 2751, was introduced in February by Assemblyman Matt Haney of San Francisco.

By Emily Rella

With the rise of remote work and the gig economy, the line of when work truly begins and ends has become blurry, with some people feeling like they're perpetually logged on.

This can lead to work messages and emails that arrive outside the standard 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. hours, which may be burdensome to employees who seek a better work-life balance.

Now, a new law proposed in California is hoping to put a stop to that.

Related: 7 Ways To Find A Work-Life Balance This Summer

Assembly Bill 2751 was introduced in February by Assemblyman Matt Haney of San Francisco and aims to "require a public or private employer to establish a workplace policy that provides employees the right to disconnect from communications from the employer during nonworking hours, except as specified."

Under the proposed bill, workers and employers must set designated "nonworking" hours and grant employees the right to ignore messages during these hours. Should the employer not comply, the company can face a $100 fine.

"This bill has a lot of flexibility to make sure that it works for all California businesses and types of employment, including those sectors that may require on-call work or longer hours," Harney said. "We've crafted it in a way that addresses the recent changes to work brought on by new technology, but to also be pro-California business. California businesses will be more competitive for desperately needed workers as a result of this law."

The bill would make California the first-ever U.S. state to implement such a law and follow suit of the 13 other countries that have already enacted similar "right to disconnect" rules, including France, Italy, Mexico, and Spain.

The new bill would apply to both public and privately owned companies.

The proposed legislature comes at a time when many Americans are struggling to log off from work.

According to a 2023 study by ELVTR, one in five Americans has been requested to log on or finish a work task while on vacation or PTO.

Related: Stop Splitting Yourself in Half: Seek Out Work-Life Boundaries

Of 2,300 workers surveyed, 28% said they are bothered by work emails during their vacations and 25% are interrupted by work-related text messages.

There is no set date for when AB 2751 is set to be brought to the vote.

Emily Rella

Entrepreneur Staff

Senior News Writer

Emily Rella is a Senior News Writer at Entrepreneur.com. Previously, she was an editor at Verizon Media. Her coverage spans features, business, lifestyle, tech, entertainment, and lifestyle. She is a 2015 graduate of Boston College and a Ridgefield, CT native. Find her on Twitter at @EmilyKRella.

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