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Cell-Phone Policies: Be Safe, Not Sorry

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Q. We’re considering giving cell phones to our field employees, rather than desk phones. What kind of policies should we have in place for personal cell calls on those phones? —J.B., Florida

A. Most employers that issue company cell phones prohibit their employees from using the phones for personal calls. Such a prohibition seems appropriate. You may wish to include an exception in your policy that says personal use is allowed in emergencies.

Also, regardless of your state’s law, we advise that your cell-phone policy prohibit employees from using phones when driving unless they have a hands-free device. Note that some states and local governments ban people from using cell phones while driving, whether they’re using a hands-free device or not.

In addition, your policy could spell out that cell phones are company property, and that the company reserves the right to monitor cell-phone calls and record logs without notice.

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