Are Cell Phone Policies Practical for the Modern Workplace?

Q.       Our company wants to implement a policy to limit personal cell phone usage only to break times. Can we ask workers to put their phones in their work lockers or on their supervisors’ desks?

A.       While such a policy may be impractical in many workplaces, neither Idaho nor federal law prohibits placing restrictions on personal calls during working hours so long as the policy is administered and enforced in a non-discriminatory fashion. Depending on the company’s specific work environment, the policy should not be so restrictive as to prevent an employee to receive or make private calls related to childcare, medication, medical issues and health care visits. If such a call is anticipated, it is advisable that your policy allows employees access to personal cell phones outside break times.

 Jason R. Mau is a shareholder in the Boise office of Parsons Behle & Latimer.  He can be reached at 208-562-4898 or