Workers in California may legally be allowed to disregard messages from their boss after the work day ends. 

The pressure to respond to work messages after hours has rapidly increased in recent years, especially as remote work during the pandemic blurred the line between work and personal life boundaries.

It has exacerbated worker burnout and forced many countries to look into “right to disconnect” laws, according to the World Economic Forum. 

Democrat Assemblyman Matt Haney of San Francisco is aiming to add California to that list with a bill he introduced in February that is being considered in the state legislature.

If passed as currently written, Assembly Bill 2751 “would 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.”

This means that, except in cases of an emergency or for scheduling, workers would have the “right to ignore communications from the employer during nonworking hours,” according to the text of the bill.

Nonworking hours would be established by a written agreement between the workers and the employer. 

If the employer violates the rule, they could face a civil penalty of at least $100, according to the current version of the bill.

California would become the first state in the country to consider such a law.

However, more than a dozen countries have already enacted similar laws.

Kenya was the latest to do so, according to the World Economic Forum.

France was the first to enact a right-to-disconnect law in 2017.

Haney’s office told FOX 5 that studies revealed how workers were “healthier, happier and more productive” after these laws were passed.

At the same time, Haney said the law will help the state better compete against other states for skilled workers.

“We are in constant competition with other states like Texas and New York who are trying to woo California workers to their states,” he said.

“[Giving] our workers the right to disconnect will be a major benefit to our workforce and makes the California tech sector better able to compete for skilled workers.”

FOX Business reached out to Haney’s office.

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