Company Policy Towards Internet Usage

Most of you probably have an employee handbook, right?  You remember, it contains things like standard work hours, defines what holidays the company observes, how vacations are earned and used.  Remember that thing?  When was the last time it was updated?

A lot has changed in the past ten years.  A LOT!  For example:  cell phones.  Did employees carry a cell phone when the handbook was last updated?  What does the company consider proper use of a personal cell phone during work hours?  Are managers expecting employees to reply to email and text messages after hours?  If the employee responds, is that consider working?  If it is considered working, are you going to pay them for their time?

How about Internet usage?  Is it okay for employees to place online orders for personal items while ‘on the clock?” Can they play “beat the clock” to order concert tickets for that hot, new band coming to town? Can they update their social media pages?  Bad-mouth the boss—by name?  What about look at pornography?  Hate sites? Political and religious sites?

All of these things might seem like they have an obvious answer, but do they? If your employee handbook does not mention these things and others, specifically, and you discipline the employee, you could be setting yourself up for a lawsuit.  If you need assistance in this area, feel free to contact my friends at Lapekas HR Consulting.

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