If your employees receive company information or can access company resources via cell phone or other device, then you need a policy that outlines expectations and actions. You should consider:
- Requiring password protection
- Restricting access to critical proprietary information
- Creating a procedure for lost device including report to company and ability to wipe data
- Developing a procedure for removal of data at end of employment
- Ensuring consistency with other computer usage policies
- Covering after-hours work on company matters by non-exempt employees
- Defining expectations of privacy and what may be accessed or removed by employer
There are other issues, and interplay with your existing policies and practices is important. As with all policies, the specifics should be tailored to your business needs.
The use of dual-purpose electronic devices in the workplace, from smartphones to tablets to laptops, has exploded. This use creates legal risks for employers. When the devices are employee-owned, use for both personal and work purposes has become the norm.
Employers are advised to consider the security of business information that is accessible to or stored on those devices. Regardless of ownership, individual privacy rights for the employee also become an issue when devices are used for personal matters. Employers must develop and implement policies and procedures to address employee use of devices to managing the risks that arise in and out of the workplace.
For the first time in ten years, the National Labor Relations Board has five board members who have been confirmed by the Senate. In a July 31 press release, Chairman Pearce stated, “Yesterday’s votes in the Senate to confirm all five of President Obama’s nominees to the National Labor Relations Board will revitalize our commitment to protect the rights of American employers and employees under the National Labor Relations Act.” The full press release is available on the NLRB website by following this link. The board is made up of three members of the administration’s party. With Senate endorsement, the board is expected to conduct rulemaking activity and begin releasing new decisions.
Remember that actions by the NLRB often affect nonunion workplaces as well as union shops.