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Cellphones in the Workplace

Smith Barney paid a $500,000 settlement to the family of a motorcyclist killed by one of its employees making a work-related call after hours on his own personal cell phone.

What’s the solution?

As usual, prevention is the major part of the cure. Your handbook should have a policy stating that using cell phones will driving is against company policy. If an employee must make a call, he/she should pull off at a safe spot to make that call.

You can’t stop an employee from calling while driving, but if they violate a company policy, at least you can show that you tried to prevent the behavior from occurring, and this may help you if a legal action takes place.

And, a written policy provides a basis for disciplining or terminating that employee. Otherwise, the employee can always state they didn’t know such a policy existed.

Even though more states are adapting ‘hands-free’ driving policies, it’s still a wise course of action to get that policy in writing.


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Dave Berkus is an accomplished speaker, author and angel investor.  He provides common sense advice to all businesses through his blog, Berkonomics. His recent post deals with the frustrations of busi

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