Can I prohibit smart watches Apple Watch, Pebble Time, Samsung, etc. in the office

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Can I prohibit smart watches Apple Watch, Pebble Time, Samsung, etc. in the office

We are a dental office that prohibits cell phones outside of the break room. They
became a distraction with employees carry them around, looking at them around
patients, etc. Now the same problem is occurring with smart watches. Glancing at
text messages during meetings, etc. Is there any law that prohibits me from
banning smart watches in the workplace via an addition to the Office Policy

Asked on May 18, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, New York


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Yes, you can set the conditions of the workplace much as you see fit, absent some form of legally actionable discrimination. In other words, you couldn't prohibit woman from having these watches but allow men to have them. Also, such  an action must not violate the terms of any employment contract or union agreement. Otherwise, your workers are employed "at will", so you can set the conditions of the office much as you see fit. 

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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