Can a company legally make someone pay the cell phone bill for a company phone they are issued?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Can a company legally make someone pay the cell phone bill for a company phone they are issued?

My wife works for a company that does not have a regular phone system. They have issued her a cell phone that is owned by the company. Her job requires her to use the phone to make calls on behalf of the company. She is an administrative assistant; she’s not involved in the sales process. They want her to pay the monthly bill for the phone (she has a personal cell that she can use to make personal calls). Since she is required to make calls on the company issued cell phone to benefit the company, can they make her pay for the privilege of using the phone they have issued to her?

Asked on January 29, 2015 under Employment Labor Law, California

Answers:

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

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Yes, your employer can make you pay the bill for a comany owned cell phone. The fact is that unless there exists comany policy that states otherwise, or you have a union agreement or employment contract to the contrary, you are an "at will" employee. This means that your employer may impose workplace conditions as it sees fit. As an employee you can either pay the bill, quit, or refuse to pay the bill but be discharged as a result.

Note: If there is some form of actionable discrimination at play here then you may have grounds to object to paying such a bill, however you stated no facts to that effect.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Yes, they legally can make her do this, just like a company can require someone to pay for her own uniform or tools; to spend her own money on gasoline for business travel; to buy a computer that meets certain business requirements, so she can work at home; etc. It's simply a term or conditon of employment--in this case, to pay for cell calls--and a company may impose *any* terms or conditions on employment. Employees who do not like those terms or conditions may seek employment elsewhere.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption