I’ve previously discussed bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies and the legal issues such policies can create for employers. A recent survey showed that 45% of CIOs surveyed believe their companies will require BYOD by 2020. Because BYOD offers significant cost savings (plus a boost to employee happiness) to companies, startups and small businesses are likely to adopt BYOD policies at an even higher rate.
However, there are additional legal issues that BYOD can bring up and that could have an even greater impact on startups and small businesses. For example, if a startup’s BYOD policy involves paying a stipend to help with an employee’s device purchase or paying voice/data bills, such stipends could be taxable as income, potentially requiring the employer to pay its share of payroll taxes. Additionally, legal issues could arise if hourly employees access work networks/emails outside of work hours (as they might be entitled to compensation or overtime). Finally, BYOD may open up employees’ devices to the discovery process in the event of litigation.