In an era where technology blurs the lines between work and personal life, California is poised to pioneer legislation aimed at restoring the balance. Assemblymember Matt Haney of San Francisco unveiled Assembly Bill 2751, a groundbreaking proposal designed to empower employees with the “right to disconnect” from work-related communications after hours. This legislative move marks a significant shift in the workplace dynamic, offering a safeguard for employees’ personal and family time against the encroachments of the digital age.

The Essence of Assembly Bill 2751

Under the proposed legislation, employers across California, regardless of whether they operate in the public or private sector, would be mandated to establish and communicate clear working hours. More importantly, the bill would entitle employees to disregard work calls, emails, and text messages that intrude upon their life outside these designated hours.

By legally delineating the boundary between professional responsibilities and personal time, Assembly Bill 2751 aims to ensure that employees can fully disengage from work pressures and dedicate themselves to personal pursuits and family obligations without fear of reprisal.

Implications for Employers and Employees

For employers, this bill introduces the necessity to reassess workplace policies and communication practices. It emphasizes the importance of respecting employees’ off-hours and encourages a culture of efficiency and respect within prescribed working hours. Employers would be required to thoughtfully consider and outline working hours that not only comply with the law but also accommodate the operational needs of the business and the well-being of their employees.

Employees, on the other hand, stand to gain significantly from this legislation. By granting them the right to disconnect, the bill acknowledges the undue stress and burnout that can result from the constant connectivity demanded by modern work culture. It offers a legislative backing to what many have long sought: the freedom to enjoy uninterrupted personal time, leading to improved mental health, work-life balance, and overall job satisfaction.

Exceptions and Considerations

Recognizing the practical demands of the workplace, the bill includes provisions for exceptions. It allows for communication outside of standard working hours in cases of emergencies or for essential scheduling purposes.

This flexibility ensures that while employees have the right to disconnect, the critical operations and exigencies of businesses are not hampered. Employers and employees are thus encouraged to engage in open dialogue about the necessity and nature of after-hours communication, fostering a mutual understanding and respect for each other’s time and commitments.

A Step Towards Work-Life Balance

If enacted, California’s “right to disconnect” bill would position the state as the first in the nation to formally legislate a boundary between work and personal life for its workforce. This initiative resonates with a growing recognition of the importance of mental health and work-life balance in the productivity and well-being of employees. It signals a progressive approach to labor laws, adapting to the challenges and realities of the modern workplace.


Assembly Bill 2751 represents a bold step forward in redefining the employer-employee relationship in the digital era. By advocating for the “right to disconnect,” California is setting a precedent that could inspire similar legislative efforts across the United States and potentially globally.

As society continues to navigate the complexities of the digital age, such legislation offers a template for protecting the well-being of the workforce while maintaining operational efficiency and responsiveness. The passage of this bill could herald a new era of work-life balance, where personal time is respected and protected, contributing to a healthier, more productive workforce.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *