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Workers could get reimbursed for use of personal cell phones

A company that required customer service employees to use their personal cell phones for work must reimburse them for the charges they incurred, the California Court of Appeals recently decided.

The employees brought a class-action lawsuit under a state law designed to prevent businesses from passing along their operating expenses to workers.

Even where employees had a cell-phone plan with unlimited minutes, the company still had to pay them a reasonable percentage of their cell phone bills, the court said.

Of course, this was true only if the company required employees to use their own phones. Employees who voluntarily used their phones to make work-related calls or check their work e-mail wouldn’t be entitled to reimbursement.

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