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A bill would make it illegal to contact employees after work

A bill being debated in New York City would make it illegal to force employees to answer work communications outside of work hours.

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. - It's not a stretch to say most people believe the best part of the work day is when it's over. For many people though, the work day never really ends because their boss can call or email at any time.

"We live under that anxiety and never really take the time to decompress," says Brooklyn Councilman Rafael Espinal Jr.

Espinal introduced a bill which would make it illegal for private companies with ten or more workers to force employees to answer work communications outside of work hours.

The measure would not apply to jobs that require employees to be on call 24 hours a day, and includes exceptions for emergencies. The bill also would not make it illegal for an employer to contact you, just illegal for them to reprimand an employee who does not respond.

Dr. Farrah Hauke is a psychologist in Scottsdale who listens to her patients problems frequently.

"The top two things people come in to talk with me about are typically work and some sort of family interaction," Dr. Hauke says. Considering family can't fire you (other than the technicality of divorce) this inability to disconnect thing is a real problem for people mentally.

"Depression, heart disease, it can make people feel incredibly stressed out, they might make a rash decision, they might have impaired sleep," Dr. Hauke says.

It's obviously not up to Dr. Hauke to decide if this measure passes, and it's not even currently up for debate in the state of Arizona, but she does have some tips to avoid becoming too stressed out.

"Advocate for themselves. So if they are in a position where they're being asked to do something they don't feel comfortable doing, they need to be communicating that with their employer," Dr. Hauke says.

The bill is currently being debated in New York City.

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