Can myboss make me put my cell phone in the cash box, thathe keeps locked and but certain employees have access to?

UPDATED: Jun 15, 2011

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Can myboss make me put my cell phone in the cash box, thathe keeps locked and but certain employees have access to?

My boss doubles as the cook and is rarely over seeing the floor activities. I work behind the bar and only use my phone to look up drinks that I am unfamiliar with. If my phone is out of site can he demand I hand over my cell phone once I walk through the door? My boss is also very often disrespectful to the employees and their property, and often does not pay us for weeks.

Asked on June 15, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, New York


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

1) An employer or its managers have near-total or complete discretion over the terms, conditions, and rules of work. That means that if your boss wants to lock up your cell phone during work, he can--or if you don't want him to do this, your only recourse is to quit. He can lock it up in a box that other employees can access, but not you. If something happens to the phone however, or you suffer some other loss (e.g. someone calls Russia for 6 hours on your phone), the employer and possibly this boss personally would be liable.

2) A boss may be disrespectful to employees.

3) You must be paid regularly for work. If the employer does not pay you "for weeks," that may be a violation of wage law. You should contact your state department of labor to see what you may be able to do.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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