A friend sent me a news snipit regarding answering work emails after hours . . . something I’m very guilty of doing, as I think I’m addicted to email. I’ve stopped sleeping with the phone near my bed so that I’m not tempted… I’m that bad.
Well, it turns out that Brasil passed a law stating that if you are answering those afterhours emails or phone calls, then you may be eligible for overtime. Brasil people don’t sue for much. I could trip fall and break my entire face in Pao de Acucar because of a giant oil slick, and well that’s my fault for not paying attention. However, when it comes to HR and employment then, yes there is huge protective laws for employees… and with that huge budgets for lawsuits and taxes, lots and lots of taxes.
I can tell you that my husband gets calls at all hours, Sunday, at midnight, at 5 am. The work calls come in constantly. And this is after he gets home anywhere between 9pm and 1am every night. Especially in Sao Paulo, the work ethic or desire to work crazy hours is bigger with Paulistanos than with other Brasilians.
The law states that employees who are subject to this can ask for overtime pay. I think that means my husband will still get emails and calls, and the barrage will continue. However, it means in 10 years or what have you, he could always find a lawyer to represent him to sue for overtime pay.
I do think it’s great when companies remind employees not to send emails afterhours. VW adopted a similar stance. I usually tend to draft emails to go out at 8am, even if I wrote them tonight. That way my co-workers are not subjected to emails, even though I’m lame and emailing them after hours.