In this article, we will discuss how new employment laws for 2019 may qualify you for reimbursement relating to your personal cell phone use. We will answer the questions “Can you be reimbursed for cell phone use?” and “How to be reimbursed for your cell phone.”
In 2019, Illinois passed new law regarding reimbursement by employers. This new law requires all employers to reimburse their employees for any expenses incurred within the scope of their employment. This can include several expenses, including personal cell phones. The use of cell phones for work is increasingly popular as employees remain in contact beyond the office or even work remotely. Employees may also receive calls from their employer or co-workers relating to work matters. This can run on your paid data plan, which adds another element to the expense that may be reimbursable.
There are some requirements to be aware, however:
Under the new law, your employer must reimburse you for use, even if the cost is negligent to you. For example, if you have an unlimited data or high-end cell phone plan, work-related data usage will not directly affect your bill. However, an employer is still required to reimburse for that data. The Illinois law is not specific on what this reimbursement will look like, but if other states serve as an indication, you will likely be entitled to a “reasonable percentage” of your bill in relation to the amount of data used regarding your work. What exactly this “reasonable percentage” will be, or if Illinois will even use the percentage method at all, is still to be determined in the coming months as cases regarding the new reimbursement law are heard by Illinois courts. Keep an eye on our website for any new events or changes regarding this law.
For more on the new employment laws in general, see our article “Changes to Illinois Employment Laws for 2019”
If you use your personal cell phone for work-related tasks, including calls, messages and other processes, you are entitled to reimbursement through Illinois’ new employment law in 2019. To begin this process, you must first review that you meet the requirements:
This law is new and developing. The process may change as it solidifies and more cases are heard. As the various requirements are defined more specifically, the law may develop as well. You may want to consult with a business attorney if you have any specific questions on what you are entitled to or what the process looks like.
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