Rita Risser Chai replies:
In California, the employer can ask employees to use their cell phones for work, but the employer has to reimburse the employee a reasonable amount for using the phone. Even if you have an unlimited plan and don’t incur extra expenses, the company still has to reimburse you. That’s according to the case of Cochran v. Schwan’s Home Serv., Inc., interpreting California Labor Code section 2802 which requires an employer to: “indemnify his or her employee for all necessary expenditures or losses incurred by the employee in direct consequence of the discharge of his or her duties, or of his or her obedience to the directions of the employer.” Other states may have a similar law on the books that could be interpreted the same way.
Information here is correct at the time it is posted. Case decisions cited here may be reversed. Please do not rely on this information without consulting an attorney first.