Are you required to “Bring Your Own Device” (BYOD) to work such as a personal smartphone, tablet, laptop or computer for work purposes?
If so, do you receive reimbursement for a percentage of your monthly cell phone and/or wireless bill?
If you work in California and your company has a BYOD policy but does not reimburse you for a portion of your cell phone and/or wireless bill, you may be entitled to compensation. Participate in a class action lawsuit and recover a portion of your monthly cell phone or wireless bill.
A court in California recently ruled that companies that require their employees to use their own cell phones, tablets or laptops for work purposes must reimburse these workers for a portion of their monthly cell phone and/or wireless service bills. In light of this ruling, attorneys at Shamis & Gentile, P.A. are investigating whether companies in California that enforce BYOD policies are failing to reimburse their employees as required by law.
Under a bring your own device to work policy, workers are encouraged or required to use their personal electronic devices, such as smartphones, tablets and laptops, to access corporate email accounts and perform other work-related activities. BYOD policies are also sometimes referred to as bring your own technology (BYOT), bring your own phone (BYOP), or bring your own PC (BYOPC).
In the case of Cochran v. Schwan’s Home Service, a court ruled in August of 2014 that companies in California must reimburse their employees for work-related use of smartphones and other personal electronic devices. Specifically, the court ruled:
“We hold that when employees must use their personal cell phones for work-related calls, [California] 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.”
The court specifically ruled that even if the employee did not incur any additional expenses due to work-related calls (for example, if the employee had an unlimited call and data plan), the company must still pay a portion of the employee’s monthly access bill. Addressing this issue, the court stated:
“The answer is that reimbursement is always required. Otherwise, the employer would receive a windfall because it would be passing its operating expenses to the employee. Thus, to be in compliance with [California Labor Law] section 2802, the employer must pay some reasonable percentage of the employee’s cell phone bill. Because of the differences in cell phone plans and work-related scenarios, the calculation of reimbursement must be left to the trial court and parties in each particular case.”
Attorneys suspect that many companies in California may be breaking the law by failing to provide proper reimbursement to their workforce. Several large employers in California, including Best Buy, Home Depot, Blue Shield of California and Howmedica (a wholly-owned subsidiary of Stryker Corporation), have already been sued over their BYOD policies.
Are you required by your California employer to bring your own cell phone, tablet or computer to work? If so, contact a Bring Your Own Device to work reimbursement lawsuit lawyer at Shamis & Gentile, P.A. today. You may be able to participate in a class action lawsuit to recover compensation for your monthly cell phone or wireless service bill.