loader
Page is loading...
No Phones

UPDATE: Can You Prohibit Employees From Using Cell Phones At Work?


While the remote work revolution continues and more and more people work from home, there are many people who still regularly go to their sites of employment. This is especially true for those employees working in a manufacturing setting or other manual labor. One legally dicey issue that often arises for people working in an office or “on the floor” is whether or not a company can prohibit the use of personal cell phones by employees during working time. The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) recently issued a decision indicating companies may have more flexibility to proscribe these devices going forward.

At issue in the case was a beverage manufacturer with operations in multiple states. The employer maintained policies and procedures that proscribed various personal items, including personal mobile devices, from being on the production floor. An unfair labor practice charge was filed against the company alleging the prohibition of cell phones was an infringement on workers’ rights under the National Labor Relations Act. The NLRB dismissed the unfair labor practice allegations and upheld the policies. 

The Board evaluated the stated reason for the prohibition on cell phones, namely safety and beverage contamination concerns. It also took into account that the proscription only applied to the manufacturing floor. In other words, if employees needed to use the phones for “protected activity” away from working areas they could retrieve them and so. Based on those factors, the rule was deemed to be lawful.

This follows another case from earlier this year where the NLRB upheld a company’s policy that prohibited drivers from having cell phones in the cabs of commercial vehicles. This is a welcomed trend given the NLRB routinely was striking down these types of policies previously. It may be time to revisit your policies and procedures on this issue.   


RELATED ARTICLES

Union Decertification Update: NLRB Extends Comments Deadline For Contract Bar

September 18, 2020 | Labor Relations, National Labor Relations Board, Labor Agreements

Labor Day 2020: State of the U.S. Labor Unions

September 4, 2020 | Labor Relations, National Labor Relations Board, Unions and Union Membership

Oh Snap! Employee Lawfully Terminated For Profanity-Laced Facebook Post

August 18, 2020 | Labor Relations, Social Media and Technology, National Labor Relations Board

NLRB Offers Some Pandemic Labor Law Clarity

August 12, 2020 | Labor Relations, National Labor Relations Board, Unions and Union Membership

NLRB OK’s Employer’s Moonlighting Ban

August 5, 2020 | Labor Relations, National Labor Relations Board

Subscribe

Do you want to receive more valuable insights directly in your inbox? Visit our subscription center and let us know what you're interested in learning more about.

View Subscription Center
RELATED TOPICS
Cell Phones
employer
NLRB
Trending Connect
We use cookies on this site to enhance your user experience. By clicking any link on this page you are giving your consent for us to use cookies.