Developing a Policy for Employee Use of Mobile Devices
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Effectively implement polices to govern employee use of mobile devices.For years, employers have allowed employees to remotely access their information technology systems. More recently, as expensive technology once reserved for the largest businesses has become ubiquitous in the consumer market, many more employers either provide mobile devices or allow their employees to use their own personal electronic devices (PEDs) such as mobile phones, tablets, and computers, for work-related purposes. This trend is called Bring Your Own Device or 'BYOD.' Not surprisingly, BYOD has blurred the lines between employees' work and non-work related activities thereby creating many practical and legal concerns for employers. One of these concerns is balancing employee productivity against potential employer liability for compensating employees for time spent working on their PEDs. Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) employers have been held liable for 'off-the-clock' work by non-exempt employees who read and respond to work emails or perform other work-related activities on the employee's PEDs. Another concern relates to employers' ability to safeguard and control confidential, proprietary, and trade secret information. The only way to effectively attempt to address these issues is to thoughtfully develop and implement appropriate polices governing employee use of mobile devices.
Burton D. Garland Jr., Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C.
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