Part of a sweeping new Labor Code (section 2802) that has won approval in the California courts, requires employers to reimburse employees for work-related calls performed on their personal cell phones.
The law could be yet still reach appeal, but National Law Review is advising California businesses to begin reviewing their cell phone policies in the event they need to be modified to address the changes in the law.
In the COLIN COCHRAN vs. SCHWAN’S HOME SERVICE, INC. publication, it states:
We hold that when employees must use their personal cell phones for work-related calls, Labor Code section 28021 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.
While the decision affects California businesses and businesses that provide service in California, the implications of this could be further reaching. The majority of states in the U.S. have a similar actions on the books. If this California court decision holds, it could set a precedent, inviting additional states to sign on to the ruling.
Many businesses already offer some sort of compensation for work-related use of personal devices, but up to now there were no governing laws for doing so. And, while the new Labor Code speaks to cell phones (and smartphones), it could also, easily, be amended to cover other personal devices such as laptops, tablets, and even smartwatches.
The BYOD crusade, allowing employees to connect their personal devices to the corporate network, is already wrought with barriers. The movement started with a bang, but has trailed off in the last couple years, waiting for the technologies to manage personal devices to actually catch up with the concept. If this law sticks, it may further put a hold on additional BYOD rollouts.