Employers must reimburse employees for using personal mobile phones under Section 2802 of the California Labor Code, a state appeals court ruled.
The appeals court reversed an order denying class certification to about 1,500 customer service managers employed by a grocery delivery company.
Employers must pay some reasonable percentage of an employee's mobile phone bill, regardless whether the employee or a third party paid for the phone charges, the court said.
Section 2802 requires employers to compensate employees for all necessary and actual expenditures reasonably undertaken as a direct consequence of employment duties, according to the decision.
The trial court had found that class commonality was lacking based on the employer's claim that mobile phone costs could not be determined because many mobile phone plans have unlimited talk minutes.
The employer also claimed that the employee who represented the class incurred no expenditures because his girlfriend paid for his phone plan.
The appeals court ruled that the trial court abused its discretion by making erroneous legal assumptions. The correct liability standard under Section 2802 requires only that employees demonstrate they are required to use personal mobile phones to make work-related calls and that they were not reimbursed, it said.
The payer of the mobile phone bill, whether the plan includes unlimited minutes or whether an employee changes plans to accommodate work-related phone usage is an irrelevant issue, the appeals court said. The focus of the commonality inquiry lies in actual expenses incurred.
If an employer is not required to reimburse expenses tied to mandatory business use of personal mobile phones, “the employer would receive a windfall because it would be passing its operating expenses onto the employee,” the court said.
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)