Is it legal for my restaurant manager to require me to respond to emails outside of working hours?


I’m an hourly server at a New York City restaurant. My manager just emailed me with a new “policy” that all employees must respond to the shift email every time it is sent or they will be fired. It seems that I would need to clock in and out if they want me to stop what I’m doing outside of work hours and respond to their emails.

Any thoughts?


Three minutes? It takes three minutes to type “acknowledged” and hit send? Come on.

It’s a stupid policy, but that’s where this ends. It’s a stupid policy and it should not exist.

If OP likes their job — well, other than this policy — they have a couple of options:

-make a case for scrapping the policy if it means that much to you. Know that you’ll probably get fired after you have the conversation with your manager.

  • just do it

If the job is what it is, we can have more fun with this. Regardless start looking for a new gig.

-organize a malicious compliance campaign with your coworkers -organize your co-workers to just ignore it entirely. -Ask around to gauge support the policy then approach the manager as a group. You’ll probably get fired during the ask-around phase of this when they catch wind of what you’re up to. For sure after the conversation even if it’s not immediate but it probably will be. -just don’t do it. Call their bluff. You might get fired.

Look, I used to bartend. It wasn’t that hard to get a job, a little harder to get a good ass job back then.

I’ve heard service jobs are open all over the place today. Don’t make your decision based on my Reddit comment, but if it’s not a good ass job, I’d ignore the policy and call their bluff.

If it is… just do it.

Even if it isn’t damn good, It doesn’t sound like the hill to die on.

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