“Right to Disconnect” is the name of the bill presented by the councilman of Brooklyn, Rafael Espinal Jr. which seeks to prevent employers from abusing workers by asking them or requiring them to perform tasks beyond their normal work schedule.
The proposal made by the councilman of District 37, serving the communities of Bushwick, East New York, Brownsville and Cypress Hills, is not new, but similar laws have already been passed in countries such as France, Germany, Italy and the Philippines.
A better quality of life for workers
With this initiative, Espinal intends to put an end to the pressures of the 24/7 workday caused by technology and force employers to establish clear limits for workers in order to maintain a healthy balance between work and life, and that they can do this without fearing possible reprisals for not responding to messages, calls or emails at times received after the usual hours of their work.
If the bill is accepted, it would apply to businesses in the five boroughs of the city that employ more than 10 people. These companies would have to create a policy documenting the expectations regarding communication outside the office, in order to protect the rights of employees. Employers can still contact their workers outside working hours, but they cannot dismiss or discipline them if they do not respond. There will be exceptions in case of emergencies.
Who is behind the proposed law: “Right to Disconnect”?
Rafael L. Espinal, Jr., a member of a working family of Dominican immigrants. In 2014, at the age of 29, he was sworn in as a member of the 37th District Council in Brooklyn.
This young politician struggles to ensure that his constituents receive all the benefits that New York City has to offer in a progressive, sustainable and equitable direction for all.
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