In the “old” days, employees took whatever their employers gave them when it came to cellphones or personal digital assistants. However, the popularity of devices such as Apple and Android smartphones prompted a backlash from staff demanding to use their product of choice. Many employers, seeing a way to reduce costs, invited employees to “bring your own device”…
The National Post recently presented the interesting case in which a New Jersey judge must decide whether someone can be “electronically present” in a car, even if they physically aren’t there, and, if so, whether the person can be held liable for events that take place, or that are caused by their electronic presence.
Multi-tasking is so serious that workers are taking their work into the washroom, with disturbing results. According to a recent survey, one-third of Brits admit they’ve made a “stall-call”—that is, a call from the toilet, not just the restroom—whether for business or pleasure. And one in twenty said they’ve taken their laptop with them when nature called. The survey also found a significant—and disgusting—number of people eat, drink and brush their teeth while answering nature’s call.
The reliance on cellphones has led to an increase in talking on a cellphone while driving. Statistics show that driving while talking or texting on a cellphone is leading to driver distractions that cause car accidents. That’s why, on April 14, 2010, the Alberta government introduced…
Ontario’s ban on hand-held devices while driving will take effect on October 26, 2009. It will be illegal for drivers to talk, text, type, dial or email using hand-held cell phones and other hand-held communications and entertainment devices. There will be a three month transition period for enforcement where the focus will be on educating drivers; police will start issuing tickets on February 1, 2010.
We’ve been hearing lately that in the United States employers are being held liable to employees for overtime compensation for using PDAs/BlackBerrys after hours for work and for checking work-related emails. We’ve been made aware of four such class action suits by employees that allege, among other claims, that the company provides them with BlackBerrys or other smart devices, and that they are required to review and respond to work-related emails and text messages at all hours of the day, amounting to 10 to 15 overtime hours per week.
I was recently made aware that the Ontario and Manitoba Trucking Associations are trying to convince regulators in their respective provinces to exempt CB radios and certain communication devices used specifically by truck drivers for dispatch and business-related purposes from the provincial bans on cellphone use and texting while driving that are to come into force this fall.
An increasing number of studies show that driving while talking on a cellphone can be dangerously distracting. Some studies state that talking on a cellphone while driving makes a person four times more likely to be in a crash. This is a much higher risk than most other distracting activities. As a result, the governments of Saskatchewan, Prince Edward Island and British Columbia have announced that they will draft legislation this fall to ban the use of hand-held electronic devices (such as cellphones) to talk or text while driving a vehicle; joining the provinces of Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Quebec, Ontario and Manitoba, who have banned or are in the process of banning the use of hand-held wireless devices while driving this fall.