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Tired of after-work emails? A new bill in NYC would give you permission to ignore them


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How often have you gotten home from work, feeling 100 percent ready to relax only to be bombarded with about 20 emails from your boss? Unfortunately, that’s not an uncommon occurrence for many boss babes these days. So luckily, a new bill in New York City could give you legislative permission to upgrade your work-life balance.

“So many of us are glued to our smartphones and our computers. It’s important to understand that we don’t have to feel as if our work has to spill into our personal lives.” —Councilman Rafael Espinal, bill sponsor

On March 22, the “right-to-disconnect” bill was introduced to the City Council, and it would allow New Yorkers to ignore any emails, texts, and other forms of communication from their bosses (and coworkers!) once the work day is over, without any repercussions. (AKA you could actually unplug without worry for perhaps the first time ever.)

Private companies that have more than 10 employees would be banned from requiring people to respond—and if the employer doesn’t comply, it would be fined a minimum of $250 each time.

According to The New York Times, private companies that have more than 10 employees would be banned from requiring people to respond—and if the employer doesn’t comply, it would be fined a minimum of $250 each time. “So many of us are glued to our smartphones and our computers. It’s important to understand that we don’t have to feel as if our work has to spill into our personal lives,” Councilman Rafael Espinal, the bill’s sponsor, told the Times.

Since studies have shown that New Yorkers work longer hours than those in other large United States cities, getting to have real, government-sanctioned separation from work would be a major plus for employees’ well-being: Work-life balance researcher Larissa K. Barber, PhD, a professor of psychology at Northern Illinois University, told the Times that not having time to recover leads to more stress, burnout, and exhaustion, and other research shows taht those who regularly respond to work issues at home don’t get good-quality sleep.

But, let’s be real—even if the bill passes, the emails probably won’t stop, and the bill isn’t meant to serve as a cease and desist of this sort. Rather, it would provide the employee with the right to choose whether or not to respond. And, no matter the choice, there’s no need to worry about losing a job, which is something that should definitely help ambitious worker bees sleep easy.

Here’s why your relationship might benefit from a digital detox. Or, find out why cutting out technology might make you feel happier.

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