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Employers Must Reimburse Employees for Work-related Cell Phones Use at a Reasonable Percentage

Author: Simon Hopes
by Simon Hopes
Posted: Aug 26, 2020
cell phone

Frequently employees and employers inquire about whether employers must reimburse an employee when the employees are using their cell phone for the employer’s business. When employees are using their cell phones for making the calls related to work, then employers must reimburse employees, as per Labor Code Section 2802. When employees were not reimbursed for the expenses of the work-related use through their cell phones, when employers were using unfair means for business practices or if they are alleging labor code violations, then employees brought a lawsuit against their employer on behalf of customer service managers for getting justice. Employees got their answer to this question too; Do employers must reimburse employees for work-related cell phone use in California?

Labor Section Code 2802

  • Under Labor Section Code 2802, employers must reimburse employees for work-related cell phone use in California. Whether the employees are having cell phone plans with limited minutes or unlimited minutes, the reimbursement given to the employees is a reasonable percentage of employee’s cell phone bills.
  • As Passed by the court, this labor section code, it is also mentioned that not only the expense of cell phones but also all the necessary expenditures or losses of employees are reimbursed. As well as it also prevents employers, from passing their different operating expenses to their employees.
  • Interest is also accrued from the date, on which employee incurred the necessary loss or expenditure. In this, the necessary expenditure or losses includes all reasonable costs, not limited to the attorney’s fees incurred by the employee.
  • If the employers violate the reimbursement obligations, they will be penalized and it is the right of employees that the reimbursed amount must be paid to the employees.
  • Though it is not mentioned in the court guidance, that what should be the reasonable percentage of employee’s cell phone bills, whether 25% or 75%, etc. as the government agencies or the court neither does nor provides the specific guidance for the reasonable percentages. The employers must calculate and consider not only the actual expenses made by the employee but they must also see to it whether it was necessary or not which in turn answers the reasonableness of employee’s expenses.

Thus, we can finally conclude that yes the reimbursement is must and always required and the employers are always required to reimburse an employee for reasonable expenses of the mandatory use of personal cell phones. Therefore to comply with section 2802, the employers must pay some reasonable percentage of employee’s cell phone bills. Due to the differences between work-related scenarios and the plans of cell phones, the reimbursement calculation is left to the trial court and the parties. The reimbursement amount in business depends on the history of usage of cell phones.

Important Parameters to be considered while Developing & Implementing Policies for Employees at the time of Reimbursement

There are various important parameters which must be considered at the time of developing and implementing the reimbursement policies for the employees as follows:

  • All employees must be treated equally in reimbursement for work-related use of phones but the work usage varies depending upon the position of employees.
The differences in reimbursement are justified based on position and amount of usage for eg. The work of one employee depends on the phone should be reimbursed 100% in-office staff while on the other hand with the less frequent use of the phone can get a stipend or lower percentage than others like 10%. Thus in such cases, a fair reimbursement or reasonable reimbursement must be given to the employees by the employers.

About the Author

With extensive research and study, Simon passionately creates blogs on divergent topics. His writings are unique and utterly grasping owing to his dedication in researching for distinctive topics.

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Author: Simon Hopes
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Simon Hopes

Member since: Feb 14, 2017
Published articles: 216

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