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Personal Cell Phone Use for Work - California

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  • Personal Cell Phone Use for Work - California

    I work in CA on a help desk, and my boss is asking for our cell phone #'s and carriers so we can be texted during work hours if an incident occurs. We are staffed with 11 staff members and there is always at least one person, usually more, reachable at our desk or by instant message to work outages that arise. Can we be compelled to provide our cell phone numbers for this purpose?

  • #2
    If you are asking whether or not there is a law that says you cannot be forced to provide your personal cell numbers, no, there is no such law. If you are fired for refusing to provide it, that will be a legal firing.
    The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

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    • #3
      Thanks for your quick response. Aside from just providing simple contact information, I assume there is nothing else preventing my employer from using my personal device for business purposes during business hours? I may have unlimited text privileges, but I pay for that service.

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      • #4
        Nothing in labor law prevents this. Depending on how much time is spent on business, you could look into the IRS regulations about deducting a business expense that is not reimbursed by the company.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by mtngal View Post
          I work in CA on a help desk, and my boss is asking for our cell phone #'s and carriers so we can be texted during work hours if an incident occurs. We are staffed with 11 staff members and there is always at least one person, usually more, reachable at our desk or by instant message to work outages that arise. Can we be compelled to provide our cell phone numbers for this purpose?
          Agree with the other posters, but wanted to bring up a different point of view. If your desk phones are out and your computers are down (say an electrical outage), in our case both those systems would not be able to reach you. But cell phones would still work as long as they were charged. And often when there is an emergency, the person at the desk doesn't stay at the desk. With no power/lights/AC/fire etc many times employees will head outside and be unreachable on either of the systems you mentioned. So I can see infrequent times where that is the best way to get a hold of an employee.

          And hopefully that explanation will help you understand why they might need it for legitimate purposes.

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          • #6
            Is your boss aware the company may need to reimburse you for use of your personal phone if it is used for company business?

            In a far-reaching decision, the California Second District Court of Appeal held in Cochran v. Schwan’s Home Serv., Inc., Cal. Ct. App. No. B247160, (August 12, 2014) that California Labor Code section 2802 requires employers always to reimburse employees who are required to use personal cell phones for work-related calls for a reasonable percentage of their cell phone bills, even when employees have cell phone plans with unlimited minutes or the plans are paid for by third parties.
            http://www.pillsburylaw.com/siteFile...eEmployees.pdf
            While I may work for lawyers, I am not an attorney. Comments I make are based on my working experiences and should not be interpreted as legal advice.

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