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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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  • Working from home (Score:5, Insightful)

    by aheath ( 628369 ) * <> on Thursday August 21, 2014 @09:04AM (#47719567)
    Should companies pay for part of the cable bill when employee are required to work from home?
  • Re:Salesmen (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Vlado ( 817879 ) on Thursday August 21, 2014 @09:08AM (#47719585) Homepage

    Couple of problems with your suppositions:
    1. What would be a problem in regards of taking a copy of contacts with you, when you leave? Contacts are probably not only on a phone. And what would prevent someone from sending them (one-by-one or a whole address book) to some backup location? Same goes for emails.
    I'm not talking about legality of such action. Just the technical possibility.

    2. Who says wipe is all-or-nothing? Even on my old Symbian Nokia there was a possibility of wiping just email account and business contact book remotely. I have no clue what you can do on an iDevice, but on Android you can also be selective, if you wish.

    For me, having two phones makes sense only for two things:
    - Keeping all the expense-related things clearly separated in regards with private/business usage.
    - Having the ability to turn off business phone while off the clock and actually have some time off.

  • by cdrudge ( 68377 ) on Thursday August 21, 2014 @11:28AM (#47720917) Homepage

    Which is the whole point. The company gives explicit instructions that personal cell phones are not to be used or authorized. You have to find something alternative (pay phone, calling card, tin cans...). Now if you happen to still use your personal cell phone for a call, you're breaking policy. They won't know [wink wink] that you're using your personal cell phone for convenience unless you happen to try to get reimbursed for it. And if you try, well, that results in some type of reprimand/discipline since you violated company policy.

  • by Solandri ( 704621 ) on Thursday August 21, 2014 @02:17PM (#47722537)

    It is the same way with travel. Rather than give you a per diem of $100, they want itemized receipts, which you have to collect, enter into the system, submit, your manager has to review and approve, and then Travel has to audit and approve. All because they don't want you to go eat Ramen and pocket the other $97. They spend thousands of dollars of company time to save a few hundred dollars on travel expenses.

    Companies would love to give you a $100 per diem for meals. As you point out, in addition to being easier for the employee, it saves them money.

    The reason they require you to itemize receipts is because if they're ever audited by the IRS, they need to be able to produce the receipts to prove those were real incurred business expenses. Not imaginary numbers made up to pad the expenses and scam the IRS out of tax revenue.

    We also tried it the laid back way - we'll give you a $100 per diem, you don't have to itemize, just collect all your receipts and hand them in after your trip. The accountant who was going to double-check your numbers anyway will just do the itemizing. Net result was that employees forgot to save their receipts or "lost" them. They'd already been paid $100 for the meals, so there was no incentive for them to be careful with the receipts. So back we went to having the employee itemize if they wanted reimbursement.

Doubt isn't the opposite of faith; it is an element of faith. - Paul Tillich, German theologian and historian