Expense Reports and Cell Phone Charges

Mon Feb 10 2020

The law requires that employers reimburse their employees who use their cell phones for work. Employers have a few options in order to remain in compliance with the law.

Employers may:

  • Provide cell phones to those employees who need them for work purposes. The employer then receives the invoice from the cell phone provider and pays the invoice. In this case, you can require that employees use this “work-designated phone” for work purposes only. This will also remove your obligation to reimburse the employee for cell phone charges.
  • Ask the employee to submit a monthly expense form, accompanied by their cell phone bill. This gets a bit tricky, since many cellular plans are all inclusive. Then on the invoice, the employee would highlight all work-related calls that were made during the month, or the billing cycle.
  • Provide the employee with a flat payment each month, to reimburse them for any work-related calls they incurred on their personal cell phone.

In essence, if the employer requires the employee to use their cellular phone for work purposes, the law requires that employers pay “a reasonable percentage” of their employee’s cell phone bill – it’s the law. Unfortunately, the law is unclear as to how to calculate this reimbursement, specifically when the employee has a cellular plan with unlimited minutes, texts and/or an unlimited data plan.

Want more information about this law? Call us at (818) 845-5584 or email us at info@executivehrconsulting.com.