Cell Phone Payment

I work in digital marketing and must use my cell phone for work. My company will pay a small portion of my cell phone bill and reimburse me for internet on my cell phone. The problem is I need to take video and photos for my position and post on social media. My phone is a few years old and the quality is poor. I need to upgrade which will cost my around $200 but my company doesn’t want to reimburse me. I have to borrow other phones to do my job and would not care to upgrade if it wasn’t for the new videos and photos I need to take for work. Is

this legal?

Asked on June 29, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Kansas

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

No, your employer is not legally obligated to provide you with an upgraded cell phone, or reimburse you for the cost of one, even if you need it to perform your job duties. You can, however, take the cost (or a portion thereof) off of your taxes, as a business expense (the same as if you were not provided a mileage reimbursement). The fact is that in an "at will" employment setting, a company can set the conditions of work much as it sees fit. That is unless, such action violates the terms of a union/collective bargaining agreement or employment contract. Also, your treatment must not be the result of some form of legally actionable discrimination.


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