Some Crucial Information About California’s Cell Phone Reimbursement Law

Some people may not know this, but if you are a California employee who has to use your phone for work, you are entitled to compensation for cell phone use. The FLSA does not require that you are reimbursed for cell phone use, but California law does. Just as your boss should compensate you for other work-related expenses, they should also reimburse you for personal cell phone use. When you use your cell phone for work, you use minutes, battery life, and/or text messages. You may also incur data costs if you use your cell phone for work in a place without Wi-Fi. For these reasons, you are entitled to reimbursement.

The Meaning of Cell Phone Reimbursement

Over the years, it has become common for workers to use their cell phones for work-related tasks. For example, many employees use their phones to make business calls, edit work documents, and communicate with clients and coworkers. Although it might not seem like a big deal to some employees, it is crucial that you are reimbursed when you use your cell phone for work. 

Cell phone reimbursement is when your employer provides extra funds as compensation for the use of your personal device for work purposes. It is a way for bosses to compensate workers who must use their property and personal time to do their work successfully. You are entitled to reimbursement if your job requires you to purchase your own cellphone or use or maintain your phone to complete business-related tasks.  

California Law Requiring the Reimbursement of Cell Phone Usage

The law that requires California employers to reimburse employees for cell phone use can be found under California Labor Code Section 2802. According to this law, employers are required to compensate workers for costs or losses incurred while discharging work-related duties. This includes indemnifying workers for any work-related use of personal cell phones. 

How Does Cell Reimbursement Work in California?

Employers are required to provide workers with a reimbursement that reflects a reasonable portion of the total cost of their cell phone bill. This is true regardless of whether or not the employee was required to spend more on cell phone use than usual or which cell phone plan an employee uses. This broad obligation under California law is meant to prevent employers from passing their business expenses to employees to save their businesses money.

Regarding how cell phone reimbursement should be distributed in California, there is no rule governing this. However, most employers analyze how much time their employees spend using their cell phones and determine the reimbursement based on that. Some companies offer a monthly allowance to offset the cost of cell phone bills, while others provide a specific amount of money every quarter for cell phone expenses. Other companies give employees additional benefits in addition to their regular cell phone reimbursement, particularly if the employees are remote workers. Every company chooses how to reimburse workers, but the bottom line is that all employers must reimburse employees for cell phone usage. 

Contact a California Employment Lawyer

If you believe you are being denied cell phone reimbursement, contact a qualified California employment lawyer near you today. An attorney can help you obtain the compensation you deserve.