Boss may have Rights to your Smartphone - Tri-State News, Weather & Sports

Boss may have rights to your smartphone

(WFIE) -

For most of us, it's impossible to get through the work day without some sort of technology. Many even use our personal devices for work,  like checking emails.

But believe it or not, if you access a work network, it may grant your bosses access to everything on that device.

If you're like many employees these days, you're juggling a bunch of different devices to keep up with e-mails and texts.

But as that practice expands, so do the problems for you and employers.

In the business world, it's being dubbed "bring your own device" or "BYOD".

It's when you use your own phone or tablet computer to connect to your company's network for e-mail or other work.

Lawyer Michael Abcarian is seeing "BYOD" issues every day. 

He says, "What if there's a need to investigate some situation and your device and the information on your device has to be looked at by other people? He says it comes down to your company's policy.

Some policies say if you connect to the business network, and are asked, you must turn over your device and everything on it, including pictures or texts.

Abcarian says "I want to see what's on that, we have a policy you had no expectation of privacy in any information or use.  If you refuse to allow me then to access it when the employer asks, you might lose your job over that."

But checking e-mail on your phone isn't the only legal issue popping up. What about responding to phone calls or emails at 9pm when you're off the clock?

According to the Department of Labor, that's work and you should be paid for that too.

Abcarian says "You're not allowed as an employer, generally speaking, to say I didn't want you working then, so if you did, I'm not going to pay you for that time. That's not allowable under the law."

Abcarian says that every case is different and every workplace has different rules.

But with technology, work is closer than ever, firmly in our pockets and our palms.

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