Employee Using Internet from Home with Cat

California labor laws are complex, voluminous, and often confusing. However, certain key parts of our labor laws are extremely clear. One such law is Labor Code section 2082. Read on to learn more about this powerful law.

Employees Can’t Pay for the Cost of Doing Business

Employers — not employees — bear the cost of doing business in the State of California. This is well-settled law. Some employers try to get around this by forcing their employees to use their own personal equipment and resources to do their job. An employer that forces their employees to pay for things like cell phone and internet is breaking the law.

This issue most often comes up in work-from-home situations. An employer will allow an employee to work remotely but will refuse to reimburse the employee’s phone and internet expenses. Most people cannot work remotely without utilizing a phone, data plan, or internet access. Our laws therefore require the employer to reimburse those expenses.

Labor Code Section 2082 Has Strong Protections for Employees

Labor Code section 2082 is extremely powerful. The law allows employees to sue their employer for reimbursement of the business use of their personal xxx. This means that an employee can recover the costs associated with the business use of their personal cell phone, internet, and car.

Businesses can avoid lawsuits under Section 2082 by simply providing their employees with internet and cell phones and reimbursing employees for mileage driven at the IRS reimbursement rate. For whatever reason, not all employers follow these best practices. Violating Section 2082 can be very expensive for an employer!

All an employee needs to do to prevail in a lawsuit under Labor Code section 2082 is to show that the employer required the employee to use a personal cell phone, internet, or vehicle for work-related reasons and that the employer did not reimburse those expenses. Cochran v. Schwan’s Home Service, Inc. (App. 2 Dist. 2014) 176 Cal.Rptr.3d 407, 228 Cal.App.4th 1137, review filed, review denied.

Damages Available under Labor Code Section 2082

As discussed above, an employee may recover a reimbursement equal to the costs of the business use of their personal equipment. Additionally, the courts can award interest on those damages going back to when they were incurred.

On top of damages, Labor Code section 2082 allows an employee to recover their attorney’s fees and litigation costs against the employer. In my office, we do not charge employees attorney’s fees to sue under Section 2082 because we force the employer to pay our attorneys fees.

If you believe that your employer is unlawfully forcing you to pay for home internet, cell phone, or vehicle use, please call my office at 916-333-2222 for a confidential and free consultation.


Meet Attorney Rick Morin

My name is Rick Morin and I am a tireless advocate for individuals throughout California. Along with my associate attorney Bryce, paralegal Jordann and assistance Alex, my team and I aggressively pursue litigation matters in California Courts.

Rick Morin

Everyone in my offices loves helping employees fight back against injustice. We fully utilize California’s strong labor laws to level the playing field. We are very proud of what we are able to achieve.

My small team and I operate out of Sacramento, California just blocks away from the United States Courthouse and the Sacramento Superior Court. But we accept cases state wide, with satellite offices in San Jose in the Los Angeles area. We are always on the lookout for strong cases and clients as dedicated as we are.

I invite you to contact my office at (916) 333-2222 to discuss your labor law issue. Don’t delay any more. We are here to help.