BYOD=Bring Your Own Device = What Every Employer and Employee Should Know About This Growing Trend

Using a Personal Smartphone or Tablet for Work Duties Can Be a Bad Idea 

By: Attorney Steven Rosenberg

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B-Y-O-D is becoming more common in every workplace.   No, it's not an acronym for booze, that's B-Y-O-B.  This acronym means “Bring Your Own Device” to work and according to one new survey by Gartner, more than 40% of all employees surveyed admit they use their own personal device like a laptop, smartphone or tablet for their primary business duties.

The problem for employers is that most employees surveyed admit their bosses don’t even know they are using these tech tools to conduct company business.  If the issue is not specifically addressed in an employee handbook or other workplace protocols, employees could be downloading sensitive company information onto their own devices thereby exposing employers to potential loss of proprietary information such as customer lists, contact information, or even trade secrets.

Employees who use their own high-tech devices are usually more productive because they are used to the navigation of a device and how it works.   In the nursing profession, one survey found upwards of two-thirds of all nurses surveyed said they use their personal high-tech devices for work related activities.  Some said having vast information at their fingertips helps make them better nurses and save lives. 

But, if there are not clear procedures and guidelines in an employee handbook addressing this workplace BYOD trend, employers could be entangled in some legal challenges involving:

  • Wage and Hour Law Violations
  • Employee Privacy 
  • Data, Security and Confidentiality Issues
  • Health and Safety Laws
  • Employer Liability for Employee Misconduct
Whether your company endorses employees to BYOD or if an employer is ignorant that employees are using their own devices for work activities, the facts are BYOD is occurring presents companies with a myriad of security, policy, technical and legal challenges.

Being tethered to a work device out of work is causing some employees to become workaholics, according to this Tech Republic article. Without clear procedures about these type of work activities performed during "off hours," the employer could face a wage law violation, depending on the employee. 

At South Shore Law, our Legal Center for Business specializes in helping businesses of all sizes insulate themselves from potential litigation and problems.  We can provide your company with a comprehensive “Bring Your Own Device” to work policy, insulating an organization from potential B-Y-O-D related legal challenges.  The Policy will be designed to not only protect your company, but also, will allow your employees to know exactly what personal electronic devices they can and cannot use for work related activities.

The implementation of BYOD policies needs to be an interactive process between employee and employer. Before you begin, let our skilled employment attorneys at South Shore Law guide you to help achieve the best workplace policies to protect companies from future litigation and security challenges while balancing the need for some employees to use their personal mobile devices to increase their productivity and job satisfaction. South Shore Law offers an affordable Employment Practices Compliance Audit  will review dozens of areas of a business' employment policies and procedures to determine if a business is compliant with all regulations and make the proper recommendations if a business is out of compliance.

Do you know someone who could benefit from this information?  Pass it along and tell them about South Shore Law.   Our experienced attorneys are committed to successfully solving any current legal challenges while insulating you from potential future threats to you or a business.  Everyday, our lawyers who live right here on the South Shore, strive to deliver exceptional legal representation to our neighbors and friends at affordable rates

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