Practical Tips for “Bring Your Own Devices” (BYOD) Policies and Practices

Editor’s Note: The following post by San Francisco Partner Cheryl Orr appears in the latest issue of the California HR Newsletter.  To view the entire newsletter click here.   To sign-up to receive the California HR Newsletter click here.

Practical Tips for “Bring Your Own Devices” (BYOD) Policies and Practices

The Issue: What do employers need to do to minimize risks (privacy, security, safety and wage and hour) caused by use of personal smart phones and tablets in the workplace?

The Solution:
Employers can minimize their risks by:

  • Drafting clear and consistent policies that cover all technologies and servers used;
  • Having employees sign requests granting them access to the company’s systems and acknowledging when they can be wiped;
  • Confirming in writing that all information accessed through the company’s systems is confidential and company property and can be wiped if lost or stolen;
  • Ensuring compliance with the company’s codes of legal and ethical business conduct; and
  • Addressing when employees can use their devices for work and how they will be paid for this time and any associated reimbursable expenses.

Analysis: Employees can inadvertently expose their employers to loss of confidential or trade secret information, create liabilities when inappropriate material on their devices is shared and blur the lines between work and personal time in a way that could be compensable. By following the above practical tips, employers can protect both themselves and their employees. Our team regularly assists with developing BYOD policies and/or training personnel on how to implement should you need further guidance.