Ask HR: Employee Cell Phones: Can We Ban Them?
Ask HR: Employee Cell Phones: Can We Ban Them?

Ask HR: Employee Cell Phones: Can We Ban Them?

What is a more ubiquitous technology than cell phones? Everyone has them, from children to adults to...your employees. How do you manage when cell phone usage on the job gets out of hand at your company? The pros at HR Support Center recently tackled this tricky question.

Question:

What are the laws regarding cell phones at work? Personal use by our employees has gotten out of hand. Can we change our policy to say that cell phones are not permitted on the premises?

Answer from Sarah, HR Pro:

Thank you for your question. I can certainly understand the frustration of having employees on their phones frequently and the need to implement a policy to limit this use. There is no law saying you cannot implement a policy prohibiting cell phones on the property, but I would recommend a different approach.

Banning cell phones from the property would likely decrease employee morale as there are times (e.g., break times or family emergencies) when employees may need to be able to make or take personal calls. Instead of restricting phones altogether, you could instead restrict cell phone use to break times and to designated areas away from employee workstations where an employee can make those phone calls.

In either situation, eliminating all calls or restricting use, you will want to address how your employee’s family members will reach them during working hours in case of a true emergency. One option is to have the calls filter through your reception desk. Alternately, it may be a good idea to have a second line to your company that is for employee emergencies.

Whatever you decide, you need to hold your employees accountable to the standards you set. Employees who fail to adhere to these standards should be disciplined according to your policy.


Sarah, HR ProSarah has extensive Human Resources experience in the legal, software, security and property preservation industries. She has a Business Communications degree from Villa Julie College (now Stevenson University) and a master’s certificate in Human Resources Management and a Strategic Organizational Leadership certification from Villa Nova University. Sarah is also a member of the National Society of Human Resources Management and has managed the HR function for small startup companies to mid-sized/large organizations.


Do you have questions like this? One entire year of HR Support Center is cheaper than just one hour of a typical attorney's time. Ask us instead.


Subscribe to Our Resource Center Digest

Enter your email below to receive a weekly recap of the latest articles from Paycor's Resource Center.

Check your inbox for an email confirming your subscription. Enjoy!

More to Discover

What is a W-4 Form?

What is a W-4 Form?

What is a W-4 Form? W-4 forms are essentially very basic tax returns filled out by employees. Specifically, it tells employers the correct amount of tax to withhold from the employee’s paycheck. Need a W-4 Form? Download it here. Why are W-4s important? The accuracy of an employee’s W-4 submission will determine the size of their tax refund (or bill) at the end of the year. The amount withheld should be as close as possible to their actual tax obligation—a big deficit can be an unwelcome surprise and may be accompanied by further penalties. Withholding more than necessary is considered by some employees as an easy way to save but, while refunds may seem like a nice treat, you are taking away the chance for employees to invest (or use)...

Case Study: Price Brothers, Inc.

Case Study: Price Brothers, Inc.

A need for robust reporting tools and a modern HR and payroll platform with onboarding capabilities led Price Brothers, Inc., to Paycor. “We’re constantly hiring and looking for skilled trade help on a daily basis. Now they can fill out the application online and we can email them the new-hire paperwork. They can complete everything online before their first day.” - Kim McLaughlin, CFO, Price Brothers, Inc. Why Price Brothers, Inc., left their payroll provider Price Brothers, a Charlotte, N.C.-based plumbing contractor who specializes in new-home construction, needed a more modern HR and payroll platform that could keep up with their growing business. Their former solution wasn’t intuitive and didn’t collect all the data they needed for...

How to Pay 1099 Employees

How to Pay 1099 Employees

As the gig economy grows more employers are looking to hire independent contractors (aka 1099 workers). But since paying independent contractors isn’t a walk in the park, many employers are looking for step-by-step instructions. Here’s a breakdown of everything you need to know: How Do I Pay a 1099 Worker? This subject is something you will need to discuss in detail with the person you’re hiring for the job. Often, they will have a written contract that stipulates how and when they should be paid. The two most common methods of payment are hourly and by the job or project. Some independent contractors — such as attorneys — prefer to be paid on retainer, which means you pay them a lump sum at the beginning of each month in return for a...

States with Salary History Bans

States with Salary History Bans

Requesting job applicants’ salary histories has been a pretty common practice for employers over the years. Recruiters and hiring managers often use this knowledge to exclude people from the candidate pool, either because the applicant is “too expensive” or their previous salary is so low, hiring managers think the person is poorly qualified or inexperienced.Businesses have also used previous salary information to calculate new hire compensation—a process that can perpetuate pay disparity between women and men. To address this inequality, several states and municipalities have enacted bans on asking for previous salary information, although laws vary in terms, scope and applicability. The states and territories that have enacted salary...