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cbelken

Cell phone policy

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My company has started a new cell phone rule that requires us to check in our cell phones in the office and are given back to us during breaks and at the end of our shifts. There is no policy in our employee handbook that requires us to give our phones up. The only electronic policy that is in the handbook is the use of company computers for personal use. There is however no policy regarding the use of cell phones or the confiscation of them. How should it be addressed if it's not in the handbook and was verbally addressed to us? 

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You did not indicate in which state you work, and that matters as much of employment law is state law. That said, it is pretty much the case in every jurisdiction that an employer may make policies like this at any time and the policy need not be included in an employee handbook to be effective. Indeed, employee handbooks are typically not treated as contracts (and usually they state that explicitly if they are well drafted) and the employer is free to change those policies at any time or even simply disregard them if they wish. Of course, some of those actions may be bad management, but the law doesn't prohibit the company from engaging in bad management practices. So, as the previous reply said, either turn in your phone to meet the company policy (or keep it outside of work to begin with) or risk possible sanctions from your employer, including termination.

 

Cells phones suck up a lot people's time every day, including work time, which is why more employers are adopting policies like the one your employer is now starting. A lot of people seem to be addicted to checking their phones frequently to see if there are any new messages, alerts, or whatever. But really, being away from your phone for a few hours at a time won't be that a deal. You might be surprised how much you can get done when you don't have your phone with you all the time. 

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14 hours ago, cbelken said:

How should it be addressed if it's not in the handbook and was verbally addressed to us?

 

I don't really understand your question.  To the extent you believe the only rules/policies your employer may have and enforce are those in the written policy manual, that's wrong.

 

If there's a need for you to have your mobile phone (either in general or on any given day), then discuss the matter with your supervisor or human resources.  It wasn't all that long ago that folks functioned without mobile phones at all.

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