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French workers won the legal right to ignore work emails after hours

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As of Sunday, French employees can legally ignore work emails after hours, AFP reports.

The recently passed labor law is intended to prevent burnout and workplace stress, as many employees aren't sure when they can actually stop thinking about work. It will also give employees a chance to work outside the office when they please.

Labor minister Myriam El Khomri commissioned a report last September warning about the dangers of "info-obesity" on worker health.

Workers don't want to lose the autonomy and flexibility that digital devices give them.
Xavier Zunigo, French workplace expert

France is known for generally relaxed labor laws. The nation enforces a 35-hour work week.

The new law requires companies to negotiate employees' rights to "switch off" and avoid work intrusion in their private lives. If negotiations fail, the company must make its demands of off-hours employees public.

In some cases, emails sent while workers are on vacation are automatically deleted. Major companies like Volkswagen in Germany and Areva in France have already started taking steps to prevent off-hours burnout.

The move was met with jealousy from abroad.

Many thought this idea should catch on.

Should the US make ignoring work emails a legal right?

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