With the advancement of technology and the digital age, the vast majority of workers own a smartphone that allows them to browse the internet, check email, or send messages anytime and anywhere.

While these technological means often allow for greater efficiency, cell phones raise many issues in terms of employment law.

Recording in the workplace

Thanks to smartphones, it is particularly easy to record conversations or videos without the knowledge of the interlocutors.

Whether you want to catch a colleague stealing, record a performance review to gather evidence against the employer or take pictures of a prototype to sell to the competition, there are many reasons why employees record at work.

This is serious behavior that may constitute a criminal offense or even a violation of the Unfair Competition Act. The employee may face serious consequences.


For reasons of work quality control or for training purposes, employers sometimes tap business telephones. Certain conditions and a strict procedure must be followed. This is not the case for private telephones used for business purposes.

Business expenses

The employer is obliged to reimburse the expenses incurred by the employee in order to perform his/her work. In particular, the employer must pay the subscription fees for the business telephone. The situation is more delicate when the employee uses his/her private cell phone for professional purposes, either in normal time or in the context of teleworking.

Distinguishing between business expenses and expenses caused by private calls or messages is far from easy. There is a high risk that the employer will violate the employee's privacy.


With a cell phone, an employee can deal with business emails or files at any time and place. Such a practice can be risky for the confidentiality of the company's data.

In addition, the employee will sometimes have a tendency to lose the boundaries between work and private life and to process files at all hours, including evenings and weekends. The employee risks, in the long run, to fall into burnout. The employer will have to take the appropriate measures to prevent this kind of situation.

Use during working hours

The use of cell phones and the downloading of large files via the company's wifi is likely to lead to a loss of productivity for the employer. It is recommended to adopt preventive measures and in particular to draft a clause in the company regulations or to establish a specific directive. The employer will take care to regulate the users and the monitoring of the company telephone in its company rules or a specific directive. 

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