For most employees, we spend nine hours of our day, dedicating our time and energy into our workplace. The last thing we want to do is answer more work-related emails or phone calls after clocking out for the day.
That’s why more American workers are embracing a European movement called “Do Not Disturb.” The purpose of the campaign is simple – staff members disconnect from their work after clocking out. Usually, the employees activate the silent feature on their phones to avoid the pressure to work during their off time.
As previously stated, the movement initially started in Europe where workers slowly separated their work from their personal life. Over the last decade, both employees and employers embraced “Do Not Disturb.” Companies, such as BMV and Volkswagen, created policies not to contact employees after hours.
Some advocates proposed possible legislation in the United States to make disconnection after work mandatory for employers and workers. However, LegalZoom general counsel Chas Rampenthal said the proposal would clash with current guidelines in the federal Fair Labor Standards Act.
California labor laws and hour recording
Under the FLSA, “infrequent and insignificant periods beyond the scheduled working hours may be disregarded” – which includes periods like a few seconds or minutes to answer a phone call or emails for your job.
If you are working a substantial amount of time outside of the office, employers in California are required to pay overtime to staff members who worked more than eight hours up to and including 12 hours in any workday. If your employer is not correctly compensating you for your work outside the office, consult with California’s Department of Industrial Relations.
Otherwise, Rampenthal expects more companies and workers to use the “Do Not Disturb” feature on their phones and enjoy a balanced work and personal time.