Am I required to pay for a company owned cell phone?

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Am I required to pay for a company owned cell phone?

I have had a company owned phone for a very long time. I used it for business and personal because of the unlimited plan. There was no contract or requirements about the phone ever given. Then, 2 years ago, the boss asked me to switch the phone over to my own name and start paying for it. The phone was under the company name and the boss as the sole name on the business account. I asked my husband to switch it to his account but he was unable to make the switch cause he wasn’t on the account. Only the main name on the account has the authority. I thought he took care of it but it was never handled. Now, 2 years have gone by, and my boss is asking for half the bill for the last 2 years. Now, that we were given the proper information and authority to make the switch, it was done. I did most of my business emails and calls from the phone. Am I responsible for the bill? Can she let the bills go for that long and then come after me for the money?

Asked on June 6, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 1 year ago | Contributor

If you were told by your employer to pay for the phone and switch it to your name, but failed to do so, she can seek reimbursement of the bills from you not: she was not supposed to be paying to them--you were. Employers have the right and power to make employees pay for their own business-related phones or calls. She can let them go for two years then seek reimbursement now--nothing in the law required her to address the bills as the came in.


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