‘Textual’ harassment? OMG! Develop policy B4 you face lawsuit

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in Centerpiece,Discrimination and Harassment,HR Management,Human Resources

by Kristin A. LaRosa, Esq., Pepper Hamilton, LLP

man texting on phoneA good smartphone policy makes sense for many reasons. Smartphone functions encompass making phone calls, sending email, browsing the web, playing music, taking pictures and video and playing games—all activities fraught with peril and potential liability for employers.

But one of the most dangerous smartphone functions (from the employer perspective) is also one of the simplest: sending text messages.

Those brief, misspelled, dashed-off messages have spawned a rash of “textual harassment” claims—claims by employees alleging they have received harassing text messages from co-workers or managers.

Many states have updated their harassment laws to include harassment that takes place through the use of cellphones. Such prohibitions are not expressly included in federal or state employment discrimination and harassment statutes, but recent lawsuits make clear that harassment via te...(register to read more)

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