When An Employee Loses A Laptop, Phone Or Other Device, Who Should Pay?

Here’s a little quandary for you to consider: If you have employees using company-owned laptops, phone or other devices, who’s responsible for replacing them if they get lost, stolen or damaged? This is a sticky question and one that needs to be addressed BEFORE Joe walks into your office and sheepishly admits he’s left his laptop at a cafe last night.

There is no legislation that defines what action should be taken if company property is lost or stolen while in an employee’s possession . The employer’s insurance should cover the loss, and it might be timely for you to check and make sure this is the case. Check also what the excess is, in some cases the excess may be more than the laptop or other devices are worth. If the employee is required to have these devices for business purposes, there is an inherent risk they could be lost, damaged or stolen .

Next, decide what your policy is going to be on this topic in consultation with your employees, The policy should outline what your expectations are as to the care they should take with company-owned mobile devices as well as the consequences of losing or damaging them. You need to identify and include in your policy what the procedure will be should you need to investigate what occurred so you can satisfy yourself that it was a genuine case of loss and/or theft and not misappropriation and the employee has not been negligent.

A BIGGER Loss To Consider

The cost of replacing a lost device is actually insignificant compared to the bigger cost and risk of the data it contains. Of course this opens up another can of worms all employers need to think about – security on mobile devices. And since some employees are using their OWN devices, you’ll need to think through what the rules are for company owned AND employee owned devices.

But one thing is for sure: if you and your employees are storing sensitive information like passwords, credit card information, sensitive or personal data on mobile devices, extra care MUST be taken to ensure the security of that data if the device is stolen. As always, if you need help in determining what your policy should b, how to implement such a policy and how to secure mobile devices, GIVE US A CALL . This service is free to all Platinum Managed Services clients.