Instead the employer mus… There are a number of laws and regulations that require employers to reimburse expenses that employee incur or to pay for employees use of their own property. While some organizations supply a company phone, others opt to pay a mobile device stipend or reimburse some portion of an employee's personal phone bill under a "Bring Your Own Device" plan (BYOD). One way to avoid the Labor Code section 2802 quandary is to issue company cell phones to employees, while at the same time prohibiting the use of personal phones. Most probably don’t realize that when they do, part of their cell phone costs may become reimbursable—even if they have plans with unlimited minutes. California Labor Code section 2802 obligates employers to reimburse employees for “all necessary expenditures or losses incurred by the employee in direct consequence of the discharge of his or her duties, …” The Cochran decision posed, and answered, the “threshold question” presented on appeal as follows: . You Are Entitled to Reimbursement, 2020 CA Employment Law Legislative Update, Article: Same Ocean, Different Boats: The Pandemic’s Disproportionate Impact on Certain Workers, Employment Law’s Protections, and Its Limitations, California COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave Bill Becomes Law (AB-1867), Ramit Mizrahi Speaking about New Employment Legislation at CLA Annual Meeting (9/25/20), California Legislature Passes Historic Bill Expanding Family and Medical Leave Rights, Ramit Mizrahi Receives 2021 Recognition by Best Lawyers and Super Lawyers, 201 S Lake Ave, Ste 305, Pasadena, California 91101. One of the most common job-related costs employees have is the cost of a personal cellular telephone or “smart phone.” Unfortunately, employers often require their employees to have a smart phone so that managers can communicate with employees and even track their whereabouts, but do not reimburse employees for the costs of purchasing monthly voice and data service. The leading case on cell phone expense reimbursement in California is Cochran v. Schwan’s Home Service (2014) 228 Cal.App.4th 1137. (a) An employer shall indemnify his or her employee for all necessary expenditures or losses incurred by the employee in direct consequence of the discharge of his or her duties, or of his or her obedience to the directions of the employer, even though unlawful, unless the employee, at the time of obeying … The court of appeal explained that if an employee is required to make work-related calls on a personal cell phone, then he or she is incurring an expense for purposes of Labor Code Section 2802. Citing Section 2802, plaintiffs' attorneys have aggressively pursued claims against California employers for failure to reimburse various employee expenses, including home internet and cell phone … No Exceptions: Employers Must Always Reasonably Reimburse Employees’ On-the-Job Use of Personal Cell Phones (California) Section 2802 of the California Labor Code requires employers to reimburse their employees for any “necessary expenditures or losses” that they incur as a direct result of doing their job. . According to Lara C. de Leon , a shareholder in the Orange County office of Ogletree Deakins, “The court’s ruling is a stark reminder that the realities … The trial court denied Cochran’s motion to certify the class and Cochran appealed. Cal. An employer who fails to reimburse an employee for work expenses can be sued in court for reimbursement and may be required to pay the employee’s attorneys’ fees. Otherwise, the employer would receive a windfall because it would be passing its operating expenses onto the employee. ABM Industries, a janitorial service provider, recently agreed to a $5.4 million dollar proposed settlement in Marley Castro, et al. 4th 1137 (2014), employee Colin Cochran filed a putative class action lawsuit on behalf of customer service managers who were not reimbursed for expenses relating to the work-related use of their personal cell phones. The reimbursement owed is a reasonable percentage of the phone bill. Unpaid Employment Expenses Likely Have Up To a Four Year Statute of Limitations, but Penalties May be Forfeited After One … Contact us today at 949-679-9909 or use the contact form at the bottom of this page, and we will respond promptly. Cochran held that “when employees must use their personal cell phones for work-related calls, Labor Code section 2802 requires the employer to reimburse them.” The Court refers to a provision of the California Labor Code requiring employers to reimburse employees for “all necessary expenditures or … Under the California labor code, section 2802, all business use of a personal cell phone must be reimbursed. In law school, attorneys-to-be are ... customer service managers who were not reimbursed for expenses pertaining to the work-related use of their personal cell phones. However, there is a stipulation with the FLSA which says an employee’s earnings can’t be below … The court held that the details about each employee’s cell phone plan do not … The Court of Appeal determined that the class should have been certified. Although the Cochrancourt only considered phone calls made on personal cell phones, employer’s increasing reliance on smart phone’s sophisticated data-consuming capabilities, such as mandating the use of employer applications, are also covered under Labor Code section 2802. Cochran illustrates the trend of California courts in broadly applying Labor Code section 2802. Read this complete California Code, Labor Code - LAB § 2802 on Westlaw FindLaw Codes are provided courtesy of Thomson Reuters Westlaw, the industry-leading online legal research system . If the employer does not require the use of cell phones and provides alternatives, then the employee’s use of her cell phone is likely unnecessary—and not reimbursable—under Section 2802. California Labor Code Sec. 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.” 4th 937, 951 (2008). 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