If my employer has just sent a message the they will only reimburse smart phones if they are a certain company’s, is this legal?

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If my employer has just sent a message the they will only reimburse smart phones if they are a certain company’s, is this legal?

Employees are reimbursed a monthly dollar amount that partially covers plan dollar amount. Employer has just done some business with a certain company and have told us employees we must use that company’s phones. In the past employees have been responsible for their phones and plans.

Asked on October 31, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Illinois

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, this is completely legal. An employer does not need to reimburse for smart phones, calling plans, at all, if it doesn't want to--there is no law requiring companies to reimburse employees for this expense. Therefore, it is voluntary on the part of your employer to provide this reimbursement. Being voluntary, the employer may put whatever terms or conditions it wants on reimbursement, whether that relates to types of services, minutes used, locations called, or, as in this case, which company's phones they will reimburse. It does not matter what was done previously: the company has the right to change its policy in this regard.


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