Q. To curb wasted time and keep workers on task, we are banning cellphones at work. Now one of our employees has told us that she has the Department of Labor’s wage-and-hour app on her iPhone. She says she uses it to track her hours worked, and that we are illegally preventing her from using it. Will our ban hold up legally?
A. You can ban cellphones, provided you do it across the board. You could require the employee to track her time manually or on her computer instead of on the DOL app. Alternatively, you could tell her (and any other employees who have the app on their phones) that she is permitted to use her phone only for purposes of using the DOL app and that if she is observed using it for other purposes, she will be disciplined.