Do workers have to take laptops home?

Employers should set boundaries to avoid any potential overtime claims
By Stuart Rudner
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 03/30/2017

Question: Can an employer require all employees to take their laptop computers home with them every day so they always have access to their work in case they’re unable to come in?

Answer: It is now commonplace for employees to have access to their work email on smartphones and other devices, allowing them to be “connected at all times.” While these devices make it convenient for employees to work almost anywhere, it can be difficult to set boundaries regarding when the workday truly ends.

The same concerns arise when asking an employee to bring other work devices home with them, such as a laptop. Asking an employee to take her work laptop home each day is not, in itself, problematic. However, employers must be very careful to clearly define their expectations — particularly regarding availability to work outside of regular hours — or they may be exposed to significant legal liability and additional costs.