Councilman proposes ‘right to disconnect’ bill

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EAST NEW YORK -

A Brooklyn councilman wants to change the way employers communicate with their employees outside of their scheduled work hours.

“I think it's important that we all have time to disconnect spend time with our families, recharge and reduce our anxieties and our burnouts so the next day we can go back to work and perform at an optimal level,” says council member Rafael Espinal Jr.

Espinal says he is proposing legislation that will give employees the right to decide if they want to respond to after-work emails, calls or texts from their employers.

“If an employee is feeling threatened or harassed or feels some retribution is being taken against them, then the employer would have to answer to the city if the employee calls 311 and makes a complaint,” he says.

An investigation would follow the formal complaint. The employer would then pay a fine to the city if found guilty.

Espinal says he hopes that the “Right to Disconnect” bill will eventually become official, but is glad to get the conversation started regardless.

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