Bring Your Own Device to Work Reimbursement Lawsuit
Last Updated on January 25, 2022
At A Glance
- This Alert Affects:
- California employees who are required to use their personal smartphones, tablets or computers for work purposes and do not receive reimbursement for a percentage of their monthly cell phone and/or wireless bills.
- What's Going On?
- A California court recently ruled that companies with "Bring Your Own Device" (BYOD) policies must reimburse their employees for a portion of their monthly cell phone bills.
- What Should I Do?
- 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, fill out the form on this page. An attorney may then reach out to you for more information regarding your company's BYOD policy.
- What Can I Get Through a Class Action Lawsuit?
- You may be able to recover a portion of your monthly cell phone or wireless bill.
If you work in California and you’re required to use your own phone or tablet for work, you may be able to participate in a class action lawsuit.
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 are investigating whether companies in California that enforce BYOD policies are failing to reimburse their employees as required by law.
If you’re required to use your cell phone, tablet or other personal electronic device for work, but your company does not provide you with any reimbursement for your cell phone or wireless service, attorneys want to hear from you. Fill out the form on this page to help with their investigation. You may be able to participate in a class action lawsuit and get a refund of part of your monthly cell phone and/or wireless bill.
What Is a Bring Your Own Device to Work Policy?
Under a bring your own device 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).
California Court Weighs in on BYOD Legal Issues
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, fill out the form on this page. You may be able to participate in a class action lawsuit to recover compensation for your monthly cell phone or wireless service bill.
Before commenting, please review our comment policy.