Fisher & Phillip’s Michael Elkon presented on the issues companies face when allowing employees to bring their own mobile devices to use for business purposes. There are “hidden costs and risks” associated with this practice, Elkon says.
First, requiring employees to use their own mobile phone and not reimbursing them for that device may cause problems. This is the result of a California case (Cochran vs. Schwan’s Home Services, Inc.) where the Court held that companies who require employees to use their personal phones for work calls must reimburse them a “reasonable percentage of their cell phone bills” whether the employee has an unlimited call plan or not.
Second, non-exempt employees who read emails or text messages on their authorized personal devices outside of the normal work day, including paid time off, may need to be compensated. If not, they may raise claims for overtime violations. For that reason, Elkon suggests limiting BYOD usage to exempt employees only.
Elkon encourages employers to monitor state law regarding reimbursement and drafting a policy for your company, if needed. MarathonHR is here to help determine whether you need a reimbursement policy and can help you create one.