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Base Taking-Work-Home policy on security and job needs

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Q. Is there any legal precedent or other justification for not allowing public employees to create work-related documents on their home computers? —J.R., Alabama

A. Government employers may have legitimate reasons to prevent employees from taking work home. For example, the IRS wouldn't allow employees to take taxpayer documents home and work on them. But an across-the-board rule banning all public employees from creating documents at home seems to go too far. Why shouldn't a local prosecutor be permitted to work on a brief on his home computer?

In short, your question has no black or white answer. To judge it, consider the type of employees, the nature of the documents and your agency's security policy and telework policy.

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