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Do We Need (More) Rules to “Unplug?”​

After a few posts about how we need to pass France-like laws to force people to stop working after they are done working, I started looking at whether this is really a problem. I know the statistics and studies that tell how people go on vacation and try to keep up with their emails and such, but I are those choices reasonable? What I mean by “reasonable” is, “Do those choices make sense in the context of the legal and ethical structure of their work agreement?” Turns out, checking email “off the clock” is dead at the first hurdle — it isn’t legal whether exempt or not. Here’s a good summary:

A key part is that employers are allowing workers to conduct tasks off the clock, which is as illegal as requiring it. In fact, this permissive sense may be what some are hiding behind, such as, “Well, I didn’t make her answer her phone…” Maybe we don’t need a new law telling companies it is illegal; maybe we just need to enforce the laws we already have. Maybe we just need to make sure that we know what is or is not required before negotiating compensation. After all, if you figure what you need to make per hour, adding an overtime value for how much you expect to work outside of normal work hours, wouldn’t that change the figure by quite a bit? Would that make it worth it to you?

Working Off-the-Clock: Is It Ever Legal?

About the Author:

Dr. Philip D. Mann is an experienced trainer, speaker, and problem solver who gets things done. His primary expertise is employee engagement and the people side of how organizations grow and (resist) change. He also knows a thing or two about the government works, and those principles apply to all large, bureaucratic structures. If you need help getting things done, reach out to Dr. Mann here on LinkedIn or at

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