CHICAGO – Since Illinois is the Midwest's most Left-leaning state, following the French example to let employees off the hook if they choose to ignore company emails after leaving work could soon appear on the state's legislative docket.
Called the "right to disconnect," a new law that went into effect Sunday in France requires employers to work with employees to avoid the intrusion of work matters into their private lives.
The law applies to companies with over 50 people on staff to work out a plan of sending work emails after hours, and define the rights of employees to ignore such communication.
The American public has been exposed to "right to work," for non-union employment. Perhaps soon we'll be considering the "right to disconnect" – or at least feeling a little less guilt when we ignore that demanding boss' after hours virtual commands.
Do they “work” in France?
Actually, the French may have something here.
While it’s not untoward for employers to be able to contact their salaried employees during off-work hours, for critical business matters — I once worked as an independent contractor for a Bensenville firm — writing for them — and they were monitoring all my on-line activities and trying to goad on more and more work — with continuous oversight.
That’s a clear violation of IL law.
Independent contractors can be expected to produce product, within timetables, but not to be overseen on-line.
It violates so many labor laws as to be laughable -and actionable.
I dumped that Orwellian operation after a very few days.
The French are probably right here.
The biggest utility in IL has departments (cannot speak for entire company) that require employees to read and respond to their emails/texts every 2 hours. No excuse for not being on call. No time belongs to the employee. No special compensation or exemptions. Your time is not your own. So, yes,because of abusive employers, IL should give citizens the right to disconnect.