Q: We issued a written safety warning to our delivery driver for violating our cell phone policy. He is challenging us, claiming he was using his “smartwatch,” not his cellphone. Does he have a leg to stand on?
A: It’s time to update your policy to restrict the use of any mobile electronic device, including smartwatches.
Considering that these devices can perform virtually all the same functions as cell phones, you should explicitly restrict use not only behind the wheel but also while at the controls of hazardous production machinery or anywhere in the workplace where it might be a dangerous distraction, hindrance to production, or a security breach.
State law has for many years made it illegal to operate a motor vehicle while using a mobile electronic device, including “any hand-held or other portable electronic equipment capable of providing data communication between two or more persons.”
So, your employee cannot successfully challenge your safety warning and would be well-advised to comply with it—and state distracted driving laws.
Register now for CBIA's Wage & Hour Self-Audit conference, Sept. 20, 2018, from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in Wallingford. Topics include overtime, worker misclassification, onboarding, pay practices, and administering leave.