CNN recently got a hold of a leaked confidential memo from the FBI notifying its workers of problems with employee sexting.
Some FBI employees are issued BlackBerries and apparently a few workers were using these government-issued devices for reasons other than checking emails.
As a result, the federal agency disciplined several employees for acts like sending dirty messages and even one instance of a woman sending a nude photograph of herself to an ex-boyfriend’s wife. If these acts of sexting can happen at the federal bureau responsible for enforcing the law, you may be wondering how you can stop sexting at your workplace.
If you do issue phones and tablets to your employees there are some steps you can take to help prevent sexting and other unwanted behavior.
First, you can notify your employees that anything they send over employer-issued devices will be made available to you. You should eliminate any expectation of privacy that your employees have over the device. You may also want to install a security application in the device that records keystrokes and data uploads and notify your workers that you installed the application.
Company phones are your property and you have the right to take these steps so long as you let your employees know about your monitoring and eliminate their expectations of privacy.
If recording your employee's keystrokes seem too harsh or invasive, you can take a different approach by simply educating your employees about the dangers of texting including the legal troubles they can get into. It can help to include examples in your presentation of seemingly smart workers who got into trouble after sexting.
If you have questions or concerns about monitoring devices that you give employees, it is always a good idea to run your policy by an employment attorney.
For more information on small businesses, follow FindLaw for Consumers on Google+ by clicking here.
- FBI Sexting: Leaked Disciplinary Report Details Bureau Employees Behaving Badly (Huffington Post)
- Full Knowledge of Legal Consequences Doesn't Stop Teens From Sexting (FindLaw's KnowledgeBase)
- Government Employees, Sexting and Privacy Rights (FindLaw's Law & Daily Life)