As technology evolves and businesses increasingly rely on electronic devices to conduct business, employers need to consider whether to implement policies that govern employee use of personal devices to access and use company data, as well as employee use of company-owned devices to access personal data. Where an employee is using their property (phone, tablet, laptop, home computer) to access company networks and data, employers need to consider, at a minimum, the security of company information, storage of data, and restrictions on use. Where an employer is providing company-owned devices to employees, employers also need to consider whether business and personal use is permitted; how (or if) personal data, applications, and programs can be installed; privacy of personal data; and cost sharing for personal use versus business use. Employers may also consider restrictions on employee use of their device’s video and audio functions at work or at company-sponsored events.
Further, while electronic devices make it possible for employees to work “24-7-365,” the devices create the potential for significant overtime exposure where employers do not restrict non-exempt employees’ use of their personal devices to conduct business outside of work hours. Just as an employee needs prior authorization before working overtime on-site, employees should not be permitted to work overtime via their electronic devices without authorization from their employer.
We will continue to monitor developments in this rapidly changing area. In the interim, if you need more information about implementing a Bring Your Own Device Policy, contact us.