Employee Policy for the Telephone

Develop an employee policy for telephone usage to protect your business

A telephone policy is a necessary part of doing business. Companies rely on telephones and cell phones to conduct business and serve their clients. Failure to design and implement an employee policy for telephone usage leaves your business open to abuses that cost you time and money. Long distance charges unrelated to business and excessive personal calls that eat away at the productive time of your employees will undoubtedly affect your bottom line.

In order for a telephone use policy to be effective, it must be concise and address accountability for violations. Employees should be required to familiarize themselves with the company telephone policy; they should also be held accountable for any violations. Management staff should then be responsible for monitoring and enforcing the telephone polices. What does this involve?

1. Ensure all employees are aware of the telephone use policy.

2. Require all employees to sign acknowledgment forms regarding the company telephone use policy.

3. Review phone bills for unusual calls and investigate items for concern regarding employee phone usage.

4. Enforce disciplinary actions for violations of business telephone policy.

Develop a telephone use policy that includes cell phone usage policy

Although employee cell phone usage should be primarily business-related, you may encounter situations where an employee's personal cell phone calls outnumber business calls. Some companies have banned the use of cell phones entirely - except during established break periods. If employee cell phone usage is required for business reasons, your cell phone usage policy should indicate if and when personal calls are allowed.

Stress legal liability issues of employee cell phone use while driving

Each year statistics regarding auto accidents resulting from cell phone use get worse. Your company could be held liable for damage or death caused by an employee cell phone use while driving. Additionally, should your worker be injured in an auto accident while driving, you could still be liable for worker's compensation claims.

Address the monitoring of communications in your telephone use policy

Companies have various reasons for keeping track of employee communications, and your telephone policies need to address those reasons. As a business owner you have a responsibility to protect your company from unauthorized activities; however, your monitoring policies must comply with the law so the rights of your employees are not violated.
  • Clearly written business and telephone policies are needed to protect your business. Always have your policies reviewed by an attorney familiar with employment law.

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