A Company Equipment Policy is a part of your employment agreement package. However, it is usually separate from your typical documents you hand to all employees.
What is a Company Equipment Policy?
A Company Equipment Policy is a contract with your employees. It outlines how, when, and where your employees may use certain equipment. The purpose of the policy is to safeguard the company, its property, and keep costs low. Occasionally, insurance companies require these policies as well. Although it sets rules that may be broken, this policy gives you coverage if you need to fire or punish employees for not following it. There are employment rules about fining or charging your employees for damage they caused. You must follow these employment laws first. However, your policy will be able to give you the maximum coverage in line with the law.
Your equipment policy can, and should, include anything owned by the company, but used by employees. You should definitely include expensive property. Vehicles, laptops, and machinery should all be included. You can also include intellectual property. If your employee has access to your branding materials, you can have a policy covering these as well! Trade secrets, trademarks, and copyrighted content can all be covered. Additionally, you will want to address branding and goodwill issues. You will probably want a separate agreement for each category of equipment. For example, a tractor and your intellectual property should not be covered by the same agreement. If you have different subsets of employees, each should only sign the policy applicable to what equipment they will use.
One of the main goals of these is to safeguard company property. You establish the rules for company property usage here. For example, your employee may not use the company truck to run his own business. This unfortunately does come up. Every worst-case scenario should be addressed in here.
I have a client whose employees drive his trucks all weekend while not on the job. Come Monday, they expect to have the gas tank filled up for them even though the tank was emptied for unrelated activities. The policy we enacted made the employees unable to use the trucks when they weren’t on the job. This saved my client thousands of dollars every week! You will also save money in upkeep. Misuse of company property can wear things down faster. Therefore, you will have repaired or replaced them more often.
Often, your insurance company will require certain provisions. These are important if you want your insurance claim to be approved if something goes wrong. Additionally, if you lease larger equipment, the lease terms will require certain rules to be followed.
Branding and Goodwill
Technically, you own your brand and your goodwill. These are assets of the company. Therefore, you have the right to set policies regarding their usage. For example, you can set rules requiring disclaimers when using the company name. Additionally, you can set rules regarding wearing company logos outside of work. Since all employees are subject to the same branding and goodwill rules, you’ll likely put these in your employee handbook. You cannot limit an employee’s ability to discuss working conditions. The law is pretty clear on this. Keep that in mind when drafting this policy.
If you’d like help putting together your company’s equipment policy or going over what you already have, feel free to contact us using the form below. Additionally, we can be contacted by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 919-912-9640.