A: Some states expressly require employers to reimburse employees for business trips and other business-related expenses. While these standards don't apply in every state or country, employers should be aware of the standards currently being enforced in California, because history tells us that most U.S. states that favor the employee will be following suit. Employees who travel may fall under a meal reimbursement policy while those who work remotely may require a smart phone or laptop to access their email and work files. If an employer requires its employees to use a cell phone, computer, or tablet away from its premises, there should be a clear policy in place regarding reimbursement of any related expenses. We have no objection to WAPA reimbursing employees for government use of personal cell phones; however, without specific statutory authority, WAPA may not reimburse employees at a flat rate instead of reimbursing for actual expenses. and then tell you they won’t pay you for it. Thus, to be in compliance with section 2802, the employer must pay some reasonable percentage of the employee's cell phone … I. Can you explain further as to what you mean by “Salary cap”? This mean, “all reasonable expenditures … required of the employee in the discharge of employment duties and that inure to the primary benefit of the employer.”. Thus, the court held that to be in compliance with Labor Code section 2802, “the employer must pay some reasonable percentage of the employee’s cell phone bill” if the employee uses a personal cell phone for work purposes. If employees are not paid at least minimum wage, free and clear, the employer is in violation of the FLSA. In those instances, California courts have required employers to reimburse a reasonable percentage of the employees’ phone bills. Does the FLSA require this reimbursement included in these officers’ regular rate? My plan is a flat $150 and comes with three free lines. The Cochran case of course raises a number of interesting issues with respect to other business expenses incurred. The remote work expenses that must be covered by employers in states with strict reimbursement laws includes mostly communications devices and plans. Class-action litigation premised on failure to reimburse certain expenses (such as home internet service for telecommuters and smartphone expenses) has been brought based … 1.1. The appellate court ruled that “reimbursement is always required,” and the employer must pay “some reasonable percentage” of the employee’s cell phone bill to comply with the Labor Code. *Note: Illinoi… Cell Phone Stipend Policy . 1. 1. Several other states have similar labor laws, including Illinois, Massachusetts, Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Dakota, so it is important for employers to know what the law requires in the jurisdictions where their employees live. This list would include phones, phone service, internet service, computers and/or tablets, and any communications or home … In the case of a vehicle, that’s easily measured by mileage, with the IRS providing a standard figure. That way, you’ll be able to see the total bill amount and avoid reimbursing more than that. Unlike California, Illinois’s new expense reimbursement law allows employers to establish written expense reimbursement policies specifying the amounts and requirements for any such reimbursements. In California, for example, employers are obligated to reimburse employees for all “necessary expenditures or losses” the employees incur in carrying out their job duties. See our prior advisory here. Presumably, items like paper, pens, and printer cartridges would be included. cell phones to complete government-related calls, instead of a government-issued telephone or pager, and receive a tiered flat rate reimbursement. These payments are referred to as mobile stipends. However, there’s no such thing with cell phone use. There are two primary patterns for allowing government employees to utilize cellular phones. The general answer is yes – and this is true even if your plan is unlimited, so long as it is necessary in performing your duties. One option is for the government to purchase cellular phones and then allow its employees to make business related calls as outlined in a policy on use of cellular phones. by Matt D'Abusco | Aug 8, 2016 | Blog | 0 comments. The trickiest areas are cell phones and internet given that employees are now working from home because they cannot go into the office, as opposed to perhaps at their convenience. The court agreed and determined employers must reimburse employees “some reasonable percentage of the employee’s cell phone bill.” Here are the best practices for expense reimbursement. Phones are no different. Reason #2: Call Center Features. If your cell phone acts as both your business and personal phone, you are only allowed to deduct the portion used for business. Let’s take these three decisions in order. A more precise but time-consuming alternative would require employees to submit their entire monthly phone bill with documentation of the proportion of the calls made for work-related matters. In 2019, Illinois passed new law regarding reimbursement by employers. The company then reimburses the initial cost of the cell phone and the service plan fees each month on receiving the associated receipts. Eligible e mployees (below) may receive a cell phone stipend from the U niversity for business - related costs incurred when using their personal cell phones. A: Under the FLSA, if the cost would reduce the employee’s pay below the minimum wage or cut into overtime, the reimbursement must be made no later than the next regular payday. Your nonprofit's employees or volunteers are likely to have business-related expenses that they pay out-of-pocket. In the United States, expense reimbursement is only required in a couple of cases. However, the new law makes it clear that employers are not required to reimburse employee expenses … Required fields are marked *, IRS Counts Excess Mileage Reimbursment as Wages. But only some states require employers to do so. California’s expense-reimbursement statute has been particularly troublesome for employers. The kicker: That $5.4 million settlement could’ve been much worse. Employers should have reimbursement policies reviewed by counsel to ensure compliance with Labor Code section 2802. Many employees regularly use their personal cell phones for work-related calls. In an effort to prevent the spread of Covid-19, many employers are permitting, and in some cases requiring, employees to work from home. Absolutely criminal that any employer can require an employee to use their own personal phone without any reimbursement. For example, if an employee used 1,000 cell phone minutes in a month and 250 of those minutes were to make calls for their employer and the other 750 were personal, then the employer would be required to reimburse 25% of the total cell phone bill … Expense reimbursement: In a typical reimbursement policy, employees purchase a cell phone (from a list of company-approved devices) along with the service plan. For example, this law will require employers to reimburse employees who use their personal cell phones for work-related calls and messages. California law requires that employers reimburse employees for “some reasonable percentage” of their cellphone bills if the employer requires them to use their personal cellphones for a business purpose – regardless of whether the employee incurs charges over and above what his or her plan costs. The time it takes to compute the reimbursement to each employee. March 8, 2019. I am eligible for reimbursement from my employer for my cell phone. Which states are at the forefront of this legislativemovement? A "necessary” expense is defined in section 9.5 as all reasonable expenses that: (a) are required by the employer in the discharge of the employees’ duties; and (b) are primarily for the benefit … Why Millennial Employees Are Best Qualified to Reach Millennial Customers, Tackling Exempt Employee’s Attendance Problems, Legally, Business Math: How to Calculate Pay Raise by Percentage, Business Math: How to Calculate PTO and Vacation Accrual, Partial Unemployment Benefits for Hour and Pay Cuts, Business Math: Calculating Time Off By Hours Worked. Check your state law to ensure compliance. Policy and culture; ... they should have been compensated for data and cell phone costs under the California labor code. In lieu of department-issued cell phones, the fire chief has proposed a $50-per-month flat cell phone reimbursement for members of the command staff. Advantages The use of the personal cell phone must be directed or approved by the employer. Except for alimited number of positions, the university will notown cell phones for the use of individual employees after January 1, 2017. The acceptable time period for which employees may submit expenses. Employers don’t require you to go to an office supply store to buy your own pens, paperclips, printer, computer, etc. No law requires employers to allow employees to make or receive personal phone calls during working hours. 2. In the event an employment contract contains expense reimbursement, an employer is responsible for expense payments. For example, expenses incurred when working remotely, such as electricity, internet, and use of personal devices. As of Jan. 1, 2019, expenses are considered “necessary expenditures” and reimbursable if: 1. Our Sitemap. The second is for the employee to purchase the cellular phones and request reimbursement for the business calls. Potential Damages. Conversely, if an employer provides a cell phone as a benefit (specifically intended for … for work-related purposes and that the employer would therefore have no reimbursement obligation to these employees. For instance, where it is mandatory for employees to use their personal cell phones for work, generally they must be compensated for a reasonable percentage of their phone plans. In sum, employers must reimburse California employees (without distinction) for cell phone use when employees are required to use their personal cell phones for business purposes. 1.1. Those states include: Illinois, California, Massachusetts, Montana, Pennsylvania, New York, Iowa, and the District of Columbia. Employer may regulate use or possession of such devices in the workplace; reasonable limitations are common. Unlike California, Illinois’s new expense reimbursement law allows employers to establish written expense reimbursement policies specifying the amounts and requirements for any such reimbursements. Another regularly reimbursable expense is training and education. Call center features are withheld from your employees under a BYOD cell phone policy. Reimbursement may also be necessary under California law even when an employee does not incur additional out of pocket costs. by Jennifer Azara. Illinois was the newest addition this year. Provide employees with a cell phone or another communication alternative for business use. The Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act has been amended to require reimbursement of employees expenses, which may include higher ticket items like cellular phones, cellular data service fees, home computers and internet provider fees for employees who are expected to work remotely and more travel expenses. It would still be $150 for just the one line. The plaintiffs in Cochran claimed that while they didn’t incur an extra charge on their personal cell phone bill when they used their phones for work-related purposes, reimbursement for some part of their personal cost was still required. If there are any changes in employee status that necessitates a change in the allowance amount or cancellation of the allowance, the Controller’s Office is required to be notified, by email or in writing, and a new allowance form may be required based on these changes. Website by Search Owls. This new law requires all employers to reimburse their employees for any expenses incurred within the scope of their employment. However, several states (including California, the District of Columbia, Illinois, Iowa, Massachusetts, Montana and New York) have specific state law requirements … Arguably, such expenses are also reimbursable under Section 2802. They are now requiring the staff members to use their personal cell phones while they are at work by using whats app (messaging app) as a business communication tool. Therefore, regardless of whether an employee has a limited or unlimited cell phone plan, the employer’s obligation is the same: “The reimbursement owed is a reasonable percentage of [the employees’] cell phone bills.” Employers have a duty to determine what that reasonable percentage is, and to reimburse their employees accordingly. Number of positions, the employee need not be construed as legal.! 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