7530.01 - Staff Use of Electronic Communication Devices

  • 7530.01 - STAFF USE OF ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATION DEVICESThe School Board will provide electronic communication devices to employees who by the nature of their job have a routine and continuing business need for the use of such communication devices for official Board business. For purposes of this policy, electronic communication devices include, but are not limited to, cellular telephones, pagers, and wireless broadband cards and devices. Electronic communication devices are provided as a tool to conduct Board business and to enhance business efficiencies. Electronic communication devices are not a personal benefit and shall not be a primary mode of communication, unless they are the most cost-effective means to conduct Board business (i.e., because such accounts for electronic communication devices are billed on a time-used basis, Board-owned electronic communication devices and services should not be used when a less costly alternative method of communication is safe, convenient, and readily available).

    In order to protect the employee from incurring tax liability for the personal use of Board-owned and provided electronic communication devices, such devices are to be used for business reasons only. Unauthorized use of Board owned and provided electronic communication devices will result in appropriate disciplinary action and the Board may seek reimbursement for unauthorized use of such devices.

    The Superintendent or his/her designee is expected to see that:

    1. the need for each Board-owned and provided electronic communication device and service account is clearly justified for Board business purposes;

    2. alternative solutions for work production and communication have been considered;

    3. employees provided with electronic communication service accounts understand the purpose and limitations of usage;

    4. electronic communication service account invoices outlining the details of usage are received and reviewed for conformance with this policy; and

    5. use of an electronic communication service account is terminated when no longer justified by business requirements, the employee leaves the Board’s employment, and/or when the employee has by actions demonstrated a disregard for the limitations of this policy.

    Possessing a Board-owned and provided electronic communication device is a privilege and all employees are expected to use them appropriately and responsibly. Employees are responsible for managing the cost effectiveness of electronic communication devices by utilizing assigned landlines and local area networks as available and appropriate.

    Employee safety is a priority of the Board, and responsible use of cellular telephones includes safe use.

    Employees whose job responsibilities include regular or occasional driving and who are issued an electronic communication device for business use are expected to refrain from using their electronic communication device while driving. Safety must come before all other concerns. Regardless of the circumstances, including slow or stopped traffic, employees are strongly encouraged to pull off to the side of the road and safely stop the vehicle before placing or accepting a call. If acceptance of a call is unavoidable and pulling over is not an option, employees are expected to keep the call short, use hands-free options if available, refrain from discussion of complicated or emotional topics, and keep their eyes on the road. Special care should be taken in situations where there is traffic, inclement weather, or the employee is driving in an unfamiliar area.

    Electronic communications are not secure. Therefore, employees should use discretion in relaying confidential information, particularly as it relates to students.

    Employees must safeguard any Board-owned electronic devices in their possession. Reasonable precautions should be made to prevent equipment loss, damage, theft, and vandalism. Upon resignation or termination of employment, or at any time upon request, the employee may be asked to produce the equipment for return or inspection. Employees unable to present the equipment in good working condition within the time period requested (e.g., twenty-four (24) hours) may be expected to bear the cost of a replacement. Employees who separate from employment with outstanding debts for equipment loss or unauthorized charges will be considered to have left employment on unsatisfactory terms and may be subject to legal action for recovery of the loss.

    The Board reserves the right to audit all Board-owned electronic communication devices and their use, which will include but not be limited to, a review of the monthly billing by the appropriate supervisor. Board electronic communication service account statements, invoices and payment documents are public records and, as such, may be subject to disclosure and review.

    A monthly detailed activity statement for all charges is received for each Board-owned and provided electronic communication device. The statements are distributed to the appropriate supervisors for their review.

    Use of a Personally-Owned Electronic Communication Device While at Work

    Personal use of electronic communication devices during work hours can interfere with employee productivity and be distracting to others. Employees are expected to use discretion in using electronic communication devices while at work. Employees are asked to use electronic communication devices for personal business during breaks and lunch period and to see that friends and family members are aware of the Board’s policy.

    Violation of this policy may constitute just cause for disciplinary action up to and including termination.

    The Superintendent shall prepare the necessary administrative procedures for the implementation of this policy.