No Cell Phones Allowed

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about cell phone rules:

My HR manager has sent down the “law” that we are not to even have a phone in the building while we are working. She has sent out a Document that she would like us to sign stating that we know this rule and they can fire us on-the-spot if we have our phone on us.

This is a problem with me due to the fact that I am a divorced Father and my cell is the only way my son’s mom can get in touch with me. She has tried in the past to leave me a message with our receptionist, but sometimes I don’t get the message or it gets to me much later. Can they legally ban the phone in the work place?

Signed, Sorry, Not Even a Wrong Number

Dear Sorry, Not Even a Wrong Number:

We don’t provide legal advice, but to the best of my knowledge outlawing cell phone is legal. Teachers can do so because they interrupt a class. Surgeons should not have them on them while operating. Divorced fathers have no special right to have them so that mothers of their sons can keep in touch with them. You were hired to do a specific job and were not hired with a cell phones allowed clause. Right?

The challenge for you is not to let this rule sour you. If and after you have earned the good will of management, you may find that you can voice your concerns and help shape more employee friendly rules. If these thoughts do not please you, check with other workplaces and you might find precedence for cell phone rules that do. Working together with hands, head, and heart takes and makes big WEGOS. And that is really what you want.

William Gorden