As personal cell phones have become a mainstay for most people, employers are increasingly faced with the reality that their employees will likely have them on their person during the workday. This, of course, depending on the employee, can lead to decreased efficiency, increased distraction, and inferior work-product. This leads to employer frustration, and the question, therefore, arises as to whether employers are legally empowered to regulate personal cell phone usage in the office.
Generally, the answer is yes. Currently, local, state, or federal law does not protect an employee’s right to carry their cell phone with them at work absent some other factor. Moreover, because Indiana is an at-will employment state, employers are generally able to terminate employees who violate company policy, including a cell phone policy.
Employers can go in a lot of different directions with their cell phone policy. Whatever your chosen cell phone policy is, however, it is important to have it reviewed by counsel, and to effectively communicate those expectations to your employees. Doing this creates a more transparent workplace and allows employees to know exactly what you expect of them.
If you have any questions on how to draft an effective work cell phone policy or any other policies in the workplace, please feel free to contact our office.