CA Employees May Soon Gain the “Right to Disconnect” From Their Employers

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Assembly Bill 2751 was recently introduced to the California State Assembly and proposes to add a Section 1198.2 to the Labor Code that would prevent employers from contacting employees outside of working hours, with limited exceptions.

Existing Law

Existing law, such as California Labor Code 1198, makes it illegal for employers to require employees to work more hours than what is specified in the order or under conditions of work that are forbidden by the order. Employers must adhere to the maximum work hours and labor conditions set forth by the Industrial Welfare Commission.

AB 2751: Proposed Changes

This bill would require that both public and private employers implement a workplace policy granting employees the “right to disconnect” from communications from employers during nonworking hours. The bill would define the right to disconnect to mean that, except for (1) an emergency (defined as an “unforeseen situation that threatens an employee, customer, or the public; disrupts or shuts down operations; or causes physical or environmental damage”) or (2) a change to the employee’s schedule that happens within 24 hours of the scheduled shift, employees have the right to ignore such communications during nonworking hours. Written agreements between employers and employees are required to establish these nonworking hours.

When an employer engages in three or more violations of the “right to disconnect,” it is considered a “pattern of violation,” allowing the employee to file a complaint with the Labor Commissioner. Such violations are subject to a civil penalty of $100.

MNK Law will continue to monitor developments with respect to AB 2751, as it could have significant ramifications for all businesses. If you need assistance in determining how the proposed law impacts your business, please contact us at

This material is provided for informational purposes only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor does it create a client-lawyer relationship between MNK Law and any recipient. Recipients should consult with counsel before taking any actions based on the information contained within this material.