Unions and employers in France have come to an agreement that employees will no longer check their work-related email outside of work hours. The deal—which is legally binding—upholds the spirit of the 35-hour work week that France implemented in 1999.

The email ban comes after years of that 35-hour week creeping ever closer to 40, thanks to the rise of smartphones and employers' increasing demands for overtime work.

250,000 employees in the tech and consulting sectors will be covered by the new rule, the Guardian reports, including workers at the French offices of Google and Facebook.

Meanwhile, in America, there's still no cap on weekly work hours, although average worker productivity is up more than 400% over the past half-century.

According to Federal Reserve economic data, Americans now work an average of 200 more hours per year than French workers.

[H/T: GMANews, Photo: Shutterstock]