Legal Update – April 2024


By:  Claire Sweetman

US Department of Labor to Award $67.1M to Youth & Young Adults with Disabilities

On April 2, 2024, the US Department of Labor announced an award of $10.5 million to fund the first year of four cooperative agreements aimed at developing strategies to assist youth and young adults with disabilities in successfully transitioning into the workforce.[1] The funding will be primarily focused on underserved communities, and the cooperative agreements will be in effect for five years. The awards have been granted to the Connecticut Department of Labor, Kansas Department of Commerce, Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development and the New York Department of Labor.[2] The grants will be administered by the Department’s Office of Disability Employment Policy and the Employment and Training Administration and will support efforts to enhance the training and employment prospects of disabled youth and young adults. Said Assistant Secretary for Disability Employment Policy Taryn M. Williams. “These cooperative agreements will help us identify the most effective strategies for dismantling these barriers, ensuring all young people with disabilities are supported and empowered to successfully navigate the transition from school to college or a career.”[3]

Proposed California Bill Would Give Workers the Right to Ignore After-Hours Communication from Their Employers

State Assemblymember Matt Haney (D-San Francisco) has introduced a bill (AB 2751)[4] aimed at guaranteeing workers the right to enjoy uninterrupted personal and family time, free from communication from their employers after hours.[5] The bill would create a “right-to-disconnect” from phone calls, emails, Teams and Slack messages sent by employers to employees after agreed-upon hours. The law would also require every employer in the state to establish a companywide policy or action plan communicating how it would implement the standard.[6] Said Haney: “If you’re working a 9-to-5 job, you shouldn’t be expected to be working 24/7. That should be available to everyone, regardless of the existence of smartphones.”[7]

Several other countries have successfully implemented right-to-disconnect policies, including France, Spain, Ireland, and Portugal. AB 2751 would be the first law of its kind in the United States. A survey of 41 advanced countries conducted by the Organization for Better Economic Co-operation and Development found that the United States ranked 29th when it came to work-life balance.[8] It also found that 10% of U.S. residents worked 50 hours or more a week on average.[9] Studies have shown that workers who lack a healthy work life balance are likely to experience burnout, anxiety, stress and other mental health conditions.[10]

The bill has already faced opposition from business advocacy groups, who argue that the legislation would create issues for companies with branches in different states and different time zones.[11] They also argue that the bill does not answer questions about the impact it will have on exempt employees. The California Chamber of Commerce also opposes the bill. Said Ashley Hoffman, senior policy advocate for the Chamber: “Requiring employers to assign those exempt workers ‘nonworking hours’ completely defeats the intent behind being an exempt employee. It also restrains an employee’s flexibility.” Haney stated that the bill would make an exception for after-work contact during emergencies or to discuss scheduling.[12] It would also make exceptions for labor unions to allow collective bargaining agreements to supersede the law.[13]

AB 2751 will be heard next in front of the Assembly Labor Committee.[14]


[2] Id.

[3] Id.




[7] Id.



[10] Id.

[11] Id.

[12] Id.

[13] Id.