As a consultant in the US, I am constantly checking my emails around the clock (weekends included), and while the company has taken active measures to instill "avoid work over the weekend" culture, there are times (more often than not) where senior management sends out an email (presumably important) over the weekend that requires the team to respond during the weekend. Often, there are meetings held on the weekends if there is a proposals due during the week after.

Is there a law that can be cited by employees to :

  1. Refuse installation of work email on a cell phone as a condition for employment

  2. Not receive (and respond) emails over the weekend.

The advancement in mobile phone technology over the last decade has seen a rampant abuse of personal time of employees, and I'm seeing it become a common practice that employees are expected to access emails via a mobile device (during the week at a minimum), and hence are almost expected to indulge in this 'malpractice' after hours as well.

  • Thanks. Those alternatives are obvious. What I wonder is whether there are still large companies that employ 'skilled professionals' and do not require/expect (even in any subtle way) to have email clients on a cell phone. It was not long ago (10 or so years ago) when I accessed email only while at work. Ofcourse, back then only Blackberrys had the email capability and only select few in senior management were afforded Blackberrys. – Freewill Dec 1 '18 at 21:14
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    @Freewill that's not what you asked in the question. You asked specifically if there's is a law. – Time4Tea Dec 1 '18 at 21:18
  • I'm aware of the question I asked. I'm merely commenting and posing a follow-on thought to the comment made by the earlier poster. – Freewill Dec 1 '18 at 21:19
  • I have not looked into such an arrangement. Very likely my role cannot be given the nature of the work and responsibilities I have. However, based on your comments so far it appears that the US labor laws aren't quite there yet with respect to employee empowerment and fairness. Agreed that each employer is free (under current laws) to set conditions of employment, it appears unfair to advertise a role at 40 hours a week, make it an "exempt" role and then push employees to around-the-clock corporate slavery – Freewill Dec 1 '18 at 21:29
  • Yes, always connected and never disconnected. Agreed, different topic to debate on acceptable versus overreach. Not new in the US but I’m increasingly uncomfortable with this craziness but wasn’t sure about legislative protection afforded to employees. Looks like there isn’t much. – Freewill Dec 1 '18 at 23:28

No there are not any laws, the USA isn't very worker friendly and even in more worker friendly legal jurisdictions - if you are in a salaried or professional (cardre in Eu terms) role (for example a "consultant") you are expected to mange your own time and in some circumstances yes this does mean working out of hours.

Of course you are meant to take time off in lieu later on I always took this at OT rate, and being on call you would expect a payment for checking mail and being on call out of hours.

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