Under California Law, What Expenses Must Your Employer Cover?

Under California Law, What Expenses Must Your Employer Cover?

Is your employer reimbursing you for time spent using your personal cellphone to make work-related calls? Under California law, he probably should be.

Expenses your employer must cover

Under California Labor Code section 2802, an employer must pay a “reasonable percentage” of an employee’s work-related expenses, and this could include your cell phone bill. Indeed, California law requires employers to reimburse employees for all “necessary” expenses incurred while performing their jobs. In other words, your employer cannot place its financial costs of doing business on you, the employee.
Common expenses your employer must reimburse you for include:
  • personal vehicle “mileage expense” or “mileage reimbursement”
  • purchasing and caring for uniforms
  • costs associated with working from home or working remotely (personal cell phone, home internet service, home office equipment, supplies, etc…)
  • cost of purchasing tools or work-related supplies
  • work-related personal cell or smartphone
This list is not exhaustive. If you believe that your employer is failing to reimburse you for work-related expenses, speak with an Orange County employment lawyer to determine your best course of action and whether you are able to recover financial compensation.if_20_1909978

Employers must always reimburse employee for cell phone use

When it comes to cellphones and smartphones, 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 section 2802). Furthermore, it does not matter who pays your cell phone bill (i.e. a family member or friend, or no one at all) or even if you, the employee, do not have to pay additional cell phone fees for using your cell phone for work purposes. While companies have argued that unlimited data plans exist and with such a plan, the employee would not incur any charges for using their cellphone for work-related calls, emails, text messages, internet use, etc…, California law states that the employer must reimburse you for a reasonable percentage of your plan.

What is a reasonable percentage?

Unfortunately, there is no bright line rule for the “reasonable percentage” that your employer must reimburse you. If you feel that your employer is not properly reimbursing you for your work-related personal cell phone use, speak with an experienced employment law attorney.

Working from home

With so many employees working from home these days, there are more and more questions surrounding what your employer must reimburse you for. As stated above, obvious costs include personal cell phone, home internet service, home office equipment, and office supplies, but, depending on the requirements of your job, there could be a number of other expenses your employer needs to cover. Do not assume that your employer is paying for all the expenses that are required under law.

Filing an expense reimbursement claim

For more information on what to do if your employer fails to properly reimburse you for your work-related expenses, including your work calls made from your personal smartphone, contact the experienced employment lawyers at Dennis Law Group today for a free consultation.