What should we do in light of California’s new no-texting-while-driving law? — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Business Management Daily
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What should we do in light of California’s new no-texting-while-driving law?

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Q. How does the new California law making it illegal to send and read text messages while driving affect employers?

A.
Effective Jan. 1, 2009, it is against the law to “write, send, or read a text-based communication” on an electronic wireless communications device, such as a cell phone, while driving a motor vehicle (Vehicle Code section 23123.5). 

An individual will not be deemed to be writing, reading or sending a text-based communication if he or she reads, selects or enters a telephone number or name in an electronic wireless communications device for the purpose of making or receiving a telephone call.  

In light of California’s new law and the risk of liability associated with employee use of cell phones, pagers and PDAs for business purposes while driving, employers should consider adopting a written policy to address this issue. Such a policy will put employees on notice that the company takes the new law seriously and requires compliance. Having such a policy will give the employer greater latitude to discipline or terminate an employee who violates it.

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