A California Appeals Court ruled in August 2015 that employers must reimburse employees for personal mobile phone call charges related to work.
The court ruled that reimbursement must be a “reasonable percentage” of the employee’s overall phone bill. “We hold that when employees must use their personal cell phones for work-related calls, Labor Code section 2802 requires the employer to reimburse them. Whether the employees have cell phone plans with unlimited minutes or limited minutes, the reimbursement owed is a reasonable percentage of their cell phone bills.”
Based on the above decision, employees in California are starting to file class action lawsuits against their employers for failing to reimburse them for work-related calls.
This may become a growing trend as more people become aware of the law and are not happy with their employer’s reimbursement (or non-reimbursement) of work-related wireless phone expenses.
The decision only affects California employers, so its national significance remains to be seen.
To learn more about how you as an employer can monitor and manage your employees’ cell phone usage, contact us.