Monday, December 5, 2011
More Offices Let Workers Choose Their Own Devices is an interesting September 22, 2011 New York Times article. As the title states, more companies are allowing workers to purchase their own technology at company expense.
Is this a good idea? On some level, yes-and that is certainly the tenor of the article. But there are two may problems with having the employee purchase the equipment and being reimbursed later. First, there is the issue of security. I do not know much about technology so I cannot further comment.
But, there is also an employment law issue. If the company provides the equipment, case law provides that the employees do not have a reasonable expecation of privacy. Therefore, employers can, and often do, mointor email and the like. So, does an employee have a greater expecation of privacy if he purchases the equipment and is simply reimbursed? Maybe.
Law review commentary on this important issue would be most welcome.
Mitchell H. Rubinstein