Updated October 20, 2020

Referencing a damage to company property policy sample can help address several problems that may occur when staff members use business property for personal use. You can curtail productivity loss and inappropriate use of business resources with a workplace policy that addresses personal use of a business property.

All businesses have the equipment, usually made available by the business, that employees need to use in order to complete their job. Potential issues that can occur with the personal use of business equipment such as tools, vehicles, or computers may include:

  • Damaged equipment and the dispute regarding the responsible party for repairs.
  • Decreased productivity when employees complete personal tasks during business time.
  • Earlier required maintenance on equipment due to wear and tear.
  • Decreased employee morale if only select employees are able to utilize equipment for personal use.

Regardless of your policy, or how strongly you attempt to control it, there will most likely still be times when employees use business equipment for personal use. While being understanding of some use that doesn't interfere with business productivity is recommended, it is important to apply the same expectations and consequences throughout.

Establishing a Personal Use of Business Property Policy

Computers are common pieces of equipment employees often use. Having a comprehensive policy in place to address appropriate employee use will not only benefit you as the employer but also the employees themselves. Some examples of items to include in such a policy may be:

  • Company computer use for a personal nature may be allowed and will be evaluated on a case by case instance.
  • Computer codes and passwords need to be accessible by the company at any time.
  • Employees are not to upload pirated or unauthorized files or software to company-owned machines.
  • Employees cannot utilize computer software or files from their home on computers owned by the company in order to reduce the risk of viruses.
  • The company maintains the right to search, monitor, and enter employee email and files found on the company computer at any time in order to conduct investigations into sharing confidential business information, company theft, monitor employee productivity or workflow, or identify any abuse of a personal nature.

Maintaining Unreasonable Personal Use of Business Equipment

Due to the increased use of cellphones, addressing personal texts and calls can become an issue the company needs to address. If you find an employee's productivity is affected by personal texts or calls, you will want to address this with them. The following steps can assist in this process:

  • Address the situation with the employee in private.
  • Don't issue an accusation; instead, inform them of what you have observed, using specific dates and times if possible.
  • Talk with them about why this is an issue, such as how they are getting behind on workflow, affecting the time they can provide customer service, or distracting other employees.
  • Allow them time to explain their side.
  • Ask the employee to keep calls and texts to over their break or lunch periods unless in the event of an emergency.
  • Try to make sure the employee realizes this is not personal in nature.
  • Explain that others are expected to follow the same set of expectations.
  • Thank your employee for understanding and being willing to cooperate.
  • Make sure other company employees are held to this same standard.

Company Property Damage

Company equipment is often provided to employees in order for them to efficiently complete their job. Examples of such equipment can include but are not limited to: cars, laptops, and cellphones. But, accidents can happen and company equipment can become damaged. This can result in costs associated with replacing the equipment as well as employee downtime while replacing such equipment.

If there is a clear indication that company property damage was the result of employee misuse or abuse, the company may try to recover costs associated with replacing the equipment from the said employee. Said costs should be an actual cost associated with replacement and not simply a stated amount by the employer.

Having a clear, comprehensive policy that includes how costs can be recovered will benefit both the company and the employee involved.

If you need help finding a damage to company property policy sample, you can post your legal need on UpCounsel's marketplace. UpCounsel accepts only the top 5 percent of lawyers to its site. Lawyers on UpCounsel come from law schools such as Harvard Law and Yale Law, and average 14 years of legal experience, including work with or on behalf of companies like Google, Menlo Ventures, and Airbnb.