back to article Get the message, PHBs: New York City mulls ban on after-hours biz email

New York's City Council is mulling a law that would make it illegal for employers to require workers be on-call to answer emails after clocking out for the day. Introduction 726, put forward this month by Council Member Rafael Espinal (D-Brooklyn), would require organizations to allow their employees to disconnect during non- …

  1. Anonymous Coward

    "except in cases of emergency"...

    Everybody who works in IT knows that there's ALWAYS an emergency...

    1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

      Re: "except in cases of emergency"...

      Everybody who works in IT knows that there's ALWAYS an emergency because your PHB (or MBA Clone) of a manager says so, even if it is something as stupid as being locked out of Solitaire.

      {there speaks the voice of experience}

    2. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: "except in cases of emergency"...

      You can tell how much of an emergency it is by the number of exclamation marks in the subject line where 0= emergency, 1 = emergency + 1, 2 = emergency + 2...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "except in cases of emergency"...

        I tell people to call me if it's a real emergency, or email me if it can wait until the next day. Simple. It even works in NYC.

  2. TrumpSlurp the Troll
    Thumb Up

    No working for free

    Seems sensible. If you want people to work from home just pay them. Simples.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: No working for free

      Exactly! Who in their right mind reads , let alone answers, business e-mails after hours?

      More to the point why not switch odd the business phone as you walk out of the office door and only switch it on again when you return the next day. Either that or keep a time sheet of all the extra hours spent and submit it as overtime.

      1. Nial

        Re: No working for free

        "Exactly! Who in their right mind reads , let alone answers, business e-mails after hours?"

        Everybody who works for themselves.

        Although I suppose for us there's no such thing as "after hours".

        1. Joe Werner Silver badge

          Re: No working for free

          Yes, if you are self-employed you are your own boss and get to decide this. You can go cycling as early as you wish, or you can work as long as you want to (or see the need to). This is both a blessing and a curse.

          If I read business mails after hours I actually take TIL (no overtime payment...). Simples. I have not been questioned about this, but I do this openly. There are also times when I work really crazy hours (deadlines, inspiration strikes).

          One thing: my next employer forbids me to clock time on Sundays. Thus: no business mails on Sundays. No exception, unless something burns (and then it is probably not my immediate problem and dealing with it early on Monday is probably good enough).

  3. Throatwarbler Mangrove Silver badge

    Good luck with that

    No, seriously. Unfortunately, I suspect the business leaders of New York will explain how they could just as easily pack up and move their businesses to New Jersey, and that will put an end to this plan.

    1. a_yank_lurker

      Re: Good luck with that

      Don't have to move to the Garden State, just move out of NYC. The real problem is the bill is not thought through. Some professions really do need to be on call. The question becomes how many need to available and could a company have a rotation for on call staff that would allow both reasonable coverage and some respite for the rest of the staff.

      1. Charles 9

        Re: Good luck with that

        Thing is, a place like Newark, New Jersey may be a better place to resettle than elsewhere in New York State (and it's still easy to go back to New York if necessary). Furthermore, threatening to move out of the state would deprive the state of lucrative corporate taxes, meaning Albany can get involved to rein in the Big Apple.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Good luck with that

          Jersey City is less than a mile away across the Hudson River. Less than half the distance from the city of London to Canary Wharf and a much easier journey. Many of the big firms already have offices there. Were it to happen they would just push a few more people across the river.

      2. vtcodger Silver badge

        Re: Good luck with that

        Not to mention that many NYC based businesses have suppliers/clients/customers in distant time zones. Going from memory, there is no overlap in normal working hours between NYC and Tokyo, Hong Kong, Beijing, India ...

    2. Tom 7 Silver badge

      Re: Good luck with that

      It would be a lot cheaper to pay people extra to be on call. It would probably be a lot cheaper in the long run to pay for managers who could fucking manage.

      1. Charles 9

        Re: Good luck with that

        But try telling that to the short-sighted investors...

    3. phuzz Silver badge

      Re: Good luck with that

      It doesn't say you can't be on call, it just says you have to be paid overtime if you are.

      Where I work you get a monthly bonus for being on call, plus overtime if we actually have to do something out of hours.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    For some reason

    My work phone runs out of battery about 5pm weekdays and all day weekends.

    I blame Apple.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I handed my work phone back in

    Do yourself a favour.

    It's called employment, not slavery.

    1. hplasm

      Re: I handed my work phone back in

      Work phone?

      Goes in the drawer at the end of the day.

      Bye phone- see you tomorrow.

      Extra money sees the phone have an outing.

      'Nuff Said!

  6. GlenP Silver badge

    Would be nice but...

    I'd rather know what s**t is happening with the systems than have an almighty mess to deal with when I return to the office.

    Like in the days before email when the tape drive failed on a Unix box. Despite phoning me (I had the "mobile" carphone-attached-to-a-battery) and me telling them I'd sort it on my return the pHB insisted on calling in a PC engineer. His first act, since he didn't have a clue about Unix, was to power down the server. Cue a week of rebuilding and recovering given that of course we didn't have a backup for a few days.

  7. intrigid

    During the weeks I'm on call, I receive a bonus which works out to about an additional 30% of my regular pay. That doesn't include overtime when I actually receive a call. Pay employees appropriately, and you will have no shortage of after-hours support.

    Another case of legislators full of solutions that are desperately in search of a problem.

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