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Calif. Court Rules Businesses Must Reimburse Cell Phone Bills 161

New submitter dszd0g writes The Court of Appeal of the State of California has ruled in Cochran v. Schwan's Home Service that California businesses must reimburse employees who BYOD for work. "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." Forbes recommends businesses that require cell phone use for employees either provide cell phones to employees or establish forms for reimbursement, and that businesses that do not require cell phones establish a formal policy.
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Calif. Court Rules Businesses Must Reimburse Cell Phone Bills

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  • Salesmen (Score:5, Informative)

    by DigiShaman ( 671371 ) on Thursday August 21, 2014 @08:57AM (#47719513) Homepage

    Not uncommon for a salesman to have two cell phones. One provided by the company, and their personal. Aside from the PITA of packing and charging both devices, it makes since to keep both the phone numbers and billing separate.

  • Re:Working from home (Score:4, Informative)

    by TheGratefulNet ( 143330 ) on Thursday August 21, 2014 @09:08AM (#47719581)

    they used to.

    when I started at cisco, back in the early 90's, they bought us a 14.4 modem, ncd x-terminal and a 2nd phone line. later, when I was at sgi, they run us a company paid isdn line. juniper also gave us isdn lines, iirc.

    the big companies used to do this for us (all in calif., fwiw). now, they seem to assume 'you need inet and a phone, anyway' so they want to avoid paying, but I have always had to give my cell # to my workers and I do get work calls on my personal line. would be nice to have them just buy me a phone and fully cover it, at this point (my last job was android based devel and so, yes, we got a company phone and data plan all paid).

  • What a nightmare (Score:2, Informative)

    by fnj ( 64210 ) on Thursday August 21, 2014 @09:21AM (#47719683)

    So let's say Joe buys on date X for personal use a no-contract phone and uses Virgin Mobile pay as you go, $37.xx per month which covers unlimited data and texts, and 300 voice minutes. What is a "reasonable percentage of his phone bill"? Hmmm? To me, it sounds like a cluster fuck to settle on. He doesn't even HAVE a "bill" for the amortization of the phone itself, but it is a real expense. He bought it in spring 2013 and intends to keep it until it develops a serious problem. Nobody knows when that will be, so nobody knows the amortization table.

    If he goes over 300 voice minutes, his only recourse is to either start a new month ahead of time, or step to a new plan mid-month with more voice minutes. There is another accounting cluster-fuck.

  • by MightyYar ( 622222 ) on Thursday August 21, 2014 @09:30AM (#47719747)

    This isn't the tool (cellphone is to hammer) - this is the consumables (minutes is to nails).

  • Re:Salesmen (Score:4, Informative)

    by Zontar_Thing_From_Ve ( 949321 ) on Thursday August 21, 2014 @09:55AM (#47720009)
    I work for a Fortune 500 company. Our policy is that staff who need to be reachable/available outside of normal business hours have a company provided mobile phone where the bill goes straight to the company. If we purchase that phone with our own money and don't get reimbursed for the purchase cost, then the phone is ours to keep even if we leave the company. Our company does support the use of iPhones (I have one) and it has some kind of special software on it that they claim allows remote wiping. Our tech support people claim that if you leave, your phone gets wiped, but you can restore your non-work related stuff from a backup. I've been told that supposedly this wipes your company email and I think that's all it really does once you restore from a backup. I have limited contact with a few former employees and while I never specifically asked if they had any problems after the wipe job, nobody has explicitly mentioned it either. I do have a few co-workers who have a company phone and their own phone, but I don't really understand the reasoning for it except they just like to do it that way. I have the impression that my company doesn't care at all about the contacts in your phone but they definitely want to stop you from reading work email or connecting to the work networks via your phone once you leave. That reference to having the ability to turn off the business phone is quaint. I don't know of anybody in IT who can actually do that. While we rotate on call where I work through a decent number of employees so that we are on call for a week at a time about once every 2 months, even when not on call we need to be reachable in case of a work emergency.

"The eleventh commandment was `Thou Shalt Compute' or `Thou Shalt Not Compute' -- I forget which." -- Epigrams in Programming, ACM SIGPLAN Sept. 1982