In California, when employees must use their personal cell phones for work-related calls, employers must pay some reasonable percentage of those phone bills even if employees incurred no extra expenses using their cell phone for work. New York 6. But it’ll be important to watch as courts decide how to interpret these laws and make cas… The purpose of this statute is "to prevent employers from passing their operating expenses on to their employees." With the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic destroying passenger numbers and revenues, it is unlikely that preparations for the cessation of LIBOR have been a priority. Trend Watch: The First Wave of COVID-Related Employment Litigation — What's on the minds of employers and litigators during COVID-19? The new work-from-home reality has implications for employers with workers employed in California and other states as described in this article. If you require any advice or further information, please speak to your usual contact at Norton Rose Fulbright.© Norton Rose Fulbright LLP 2020. Expect more litigation about when an expense triggers the employer’s statutory reimbursement obligation. In the event of a large expense, such as the purchase of a printer or the repair of an internet connection, the expense should be reimbursed upon demand. Illinois Expense Reimbursement Law If you're a business owner running a successful company, chances are you have multiple employees using their mobile devices for work. 2020 has been a tumultuous year for the aviation industry. As a result, many nonprofits need to revisit and update current reimbursement policies and communicate these changes to employees to mitigate against unexpected liability in this area. With over 50% of the world's population owning and using a mobile device, cell phone use has become second nature to most. Code § 2802. California 2. Even if employees have “unlimited” phone or internet plans, yes. In the event of a large expense, such as the purchase of a printer or the repair of an internet connection, the expense should be reimbursed upon demand. At least one California federal court has held that phone and Internet expenses incurred by employees who choose to telecommute are not “necessarily incurred” and thus need not be reimbursed. Under the mitigation plan of COVID-19, many states are relying upon existing state parity laws to recoup reimbursement for eligible expenses, especially considering the Medicare waivers. California’s law has been interpreted to require reimbursement of a “reasonable percentage” of an employee’s monthly bill for Internet or mobile device data plan, even if the employee does not incur any additional cost for using the Internet or mobile device for work (e.g., unlimited data plan). With approximately 700 lawyers globally, Baker McKenzie’s Employment & Compensation group is the largest in the world and the only one to be ranked Band 1 by Chambers Global in 2020. Some states (like California, Illinois, and Montana) have more robust reimbursement laws in that employers are required to reimburse … The more common approach among states has been to require reimbursement for small number of specified work-related items, and the progress in this regard has come not from state legislatures, but instead from state regulators. The potential obligation to reimburse employees for remote work expenses is not limited to California, however. In addition, 16 states allow fewer than nine provider types to receive reimbursement for telehealth, while 19 states and the District of Columbia do not specify the type of provider. Norton Rose Fulbright is well-equipped to assist with any questions you may have about the overlapping legal issues that remote work arrangements present, from compliance with labor and employment laws, to mobile device management (for employees using personal phones and devices to conduct work), and cybersecurity considerations. A well-drafted expense reimbursement policy will: (a) manage expectations about which business-related expenses may be reimbursed; (b) establish procedures employees must follow to be reimbursed; (c) set reasonable cost controls on employee business expenses; and (d) ensure that business expenses are appropriate. Reimburse for the actual voice and/or data fees incurred for business purposes, which requires employees to submit expense reports itemizing the costs of calls made for work purposes and the costs of data used for work supported with cell phone bills or other evidence of the costs (this is a time intensive process for employees); Reimburse for a percentage of voice and/or data fees that accurately reflects the amount of mandatory business usage, and if a percentage or flat monthly amount is used, then allow employees to seek reimbursement for any additional costs incurred over the percentage or flat amount if the actual costs of business use exceed those amounts (this can be hard to determine given the number of different plans available); or. July 20, 2011). While expense reimbursement is only required if it is stipulated in an employment contract or if the business expenses bring the employee’s wages below minimum wage, most businesses reimburse work-related expenses incurred by employees as a job perk. As technology advances, psychologists increasingly have the opportunity to engage with patients or other users of psychological services via less traditional methods. A health care insurer that offers, issues for delivery, or renews in the state a health care insurance plan in the group or individual market shall provide coverage for benefits provided through telehealth by a health care provider licensed in this state and may not require that prior in-person contact between a health care provider and a patient before payment is made for covered services. Under California law, an employer that does not reimburse employees risks a lawsuit where the damages will include not just the unreimbursed expenses but the attorney’s fees incurred by the employee seeking reimbursement. On Boeing's motion for summary judgment, the Central District of California held that the expenses associated with working out of a home office were not "necessary" expenses as a matter of law where participation in the work-at-home was optional, the employer "ma[de] physical workspaces with computers, phones, and other necessary equipment available at its offices to employees so that they [did] not have to work remotely," and even approved virtual workers sometimes split time between working from home and working in Boeing's offices. The law allows employees to sue their employer for reimbursement of the business use of their personal cell phone, internet, or even vehicle. The employer’s written expense-reimbursement policy may not require employees to submit expenses less than 30 ... Other States. Other states, including Illinois, Iowa, Montana, New Hampshire and South Dakota, have enacted laws which may require reimbursement of employee expenses, although case law in these states is not as well-developed as in California. 19, 2020). Lawson v. PPG Architectural Finishes, Inc., 2019 WL 3308827, at *7 (C.D. The information provided is only for research and informational purposes and should not be construed as legal counsel. The potential obligation to reimburse employees for remote work expenses is not limited to California, however. Such considerations may have long-lasting effects beyond the pandemic as companies increasingly implement BYOD programs and encourage remote work arrangements which may trigger reimbursement. 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