New email law which gives employees an after hour a ‘right to disconnect’ – good or bad idea?

10 January 2017 Internet, IT & e-Discovery Blog Blog
Authors: Peter Vogel

Computerworld reported that the “French law took effect Jan. 1 and requires firms with more than 50 employees to negotiate a “disconnection” rule governing after-hour and vacation communications.”  The January 6, 2017 report entitled “Why France’s new ‘right to disconnect’ law matters” included this comment that emails “arriving at night, on weekends and during vacation can create stress and interrupt family life” which is part of the reason that France established the law.

The report also included these comments about Daimler AG (German automotive giant) which now:

…has an optional email feature called “Mail on Holiday.” It automatically deletes incoming emails during time off. An auto reply offers alternative contacts or suggests resending messages once the employee returns. It’s available to 100,000 workers in Germany.

And the Daimler Health management and occupational safety employee guide states:

This prevents congestion in the electronic in-boxes, relieves the pressure of having to read emails during vacations, and the email in-box is empty when the employee returns to work.

However not everyone thinks that the ‘right to disconnect’ is so great including James W. Gabberty (Associate Dean and Professor of Information Systems at New York’s Pace University) who “says the email rule will only erode productivity” which is:

Not confined to a 9-to-5 work regimen, inspiration — the mother’s milk driving innovation that underpins R&D — depends on spontaneously capturing creative thinking,…these fleeting moments of genius” in an email “even when they occur after dinner or in the middle of the night.

What do you think?

This blog is made available by Foley & Lardner LLP (“Foley” or “the Firm”) for informational purposes only. It is not meant to convey the Firm’s legal position on behalf of any client, nor is it intended to convey specific legal advice. Any opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of Foley & Lardner LLP, its partners, or its clients. Accordingly, do not act upon this information without seeking counsel from a licensed attorney. This blog is not intended to create, and receipt of it does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. Communicating with Foley through this website by email, blog post, or otherwise, does not create an attorney-client relationship for any legal matter. Therefore, any communication or material you transmit to Foley through this blog, whether by email, blog post or any other manner, will not be treated as confidential or proprietary. The information on this blog is published “AS IS” and is not guaranteed to be complete, accurate, and or up-to-date. Foley makes no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, as to the operation or content of the site. Foley expressly disclaims all other guarantees, warranties, conditions and representations of any kind, either express or implied, whether arising under any statute, law, commercial use or otherwise, including implied warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Foley or any of its partners, officers, employees, agents or affiliates be liable, directly or indirectly, under any theory of law (contract, tort, negligence or otherwise), to you or anyone else, for any claims, losses or damages, direct, indirect special, incidental, punitive or consequential, resulting from or occasioned by the creation, use of or reliance on this site (including information and other content) or any third party websites or the information, resources or material accessed through any such websites. In some jurisdictions, the contents of this blog may be considered Attorney Advertising. If applicable, please note that prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. Photographs are for dramatization purposes only and may include models. Likenesses do not necessarily imply current client, partnership or employee status.

Authors

Related Services

Insights

PATH Summit 2019
18-20 December 2019
Arlington, VA
MedTech Impact Expo & Conference
13-15 December 2019
Las Vegas, NV
Review of 2020 Medicare Changes for Telehealth
11 December 2019
Member Call
BRG Healthcare Leadership Conference
06 December 2019
Washington, D.C.