Does an employer have the right to take your personal phone away from you?

Asked on July 3, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, New York


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Yes and no.

No, in the sense that the employer cannot actually seize the phone from you--doing so would be tortious and criminal act.

Yes, in the sense that they can make it a term or condition of your employment, or otherwise direct you (e.g. a manager orders you) to give up the phone (or not take it to work in the first place) and they can fire you if you don't comply, unless you have an employment contract to the contrary.

So you can walk out of there with your phone, if you want; but if you don't give it up on employer request, the employer can fire (or suspend, demote, or otherwise  discipline) you.


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