Can I prohibit smart watches Apple Watch, Pebble Time, Samsung, etc. in the office

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Can I prohibit smart watches Apple Watch, Pebble Time, Samsung, etc. in the office

We are a dental office that prohibits cell phones outside of the break room. They
became a distraction with employees carry them around, looking at them around
patients, etc. Now the same problem is occurring with smart watches. Glancing at
text messages during meetings, etc. Is there any law that prohibits me from
banning smart watches in the workplace via an addition to the Office Policy
Handbook?

Asked on May 18, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, New York

Answers:

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

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Yes, you can set the conditions of the workplace much as you see fit, absent some form of legally actionable discrimination. In other words, you couldn't prohibit woman from having these watches but allow men to have them. Also, such  an action must not violate the terms of any employment contract or union agreement. Otherwise, your workers are employed "at will", so you can set the conditions of the office much as you see fit. 


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