How remote workers can protect themselves from being taken advantage of

Key is to practice discipline, organizational expert says

A law in Portugal prohibits a boss from contacting an employer outside of their regular work hours.

DETROIT – A law in Portugal prohibits a boss from contacting an employer outside of their regular work hours.

Portugal has enacted some of the most stringent remote worker protections and now many European companies are looking to do the same. But how does that sit in the United States?

Regina Ann Campbell is the CEO of the Build Institute, a nonprofit in Detroit. She believes her workers are working too long and too many hours at home. She asks them to shut it down -- but she’s not able to do it herself.

Read: Some Michigan residents face concern, anxiety about return to in-person work

Lisa Grace with the Build Institute has the same issue. Her laptop is open and phone is on at all times. Work is always there. So she does it.

Marquese Adeleye on the other hand is part of a new generation of workers. Adeleye is demanding change and the COVID pandemic is helping the cause.

All three believe now is the time to talk about legislation to refine the work rules so that people aren’t uncompensated, overworked or taken advantage of. Even if it’s of their own doing.

They believe legislation is needed to protect workers from bosses who welcome the uncompensated work and to protect workers from themselves.

Organization expert Dr. David Strubler from Oakland University disagrees. He said in the United States, the legislation wouldn’t necessarily work. He said what will work is workers and bosses legislating their own behavior.

Watch the video above for the full report.

Read: Complete remote work coverage


About the Author:

Paula Tutman is an Emmy award-winning journalist who came to Local 4 in 1992. She's a Peace Corps alum who spent her early childhood living in Sierra Leone, West Africa and Tanzania and East Africa.