Can an employer forbid you to use your personal cell phone while at work?

Can they take it from you when you come in and other than during your break, not give it back until you leave?

Asked on June 23, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, New York


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Yes this is perfectly permissable under the law. This is true unless you are protected by the terms of an employment contract or union agreement. Also, your treatment must not be the result of any form of legally actionable discrimination. Otherwise, the fact is that most employment is "at will". This means that an employer can set the conditions of the workplace much as it sees fit, including collecting and keeping all employee's cell phones during work hours.

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