Reimbursement for Expenses May Include Cell Phone, Home Internet Use and Related Home Office Costs

Track & Trigger: Work at home reimbursementsWe recently wrote about how employers may not accurately track the hours worked by remote workers, particularly for employees thrust into the “work-from-home” role as a result of coronavirus-related office closures and state and local stay-at-home orders.  To effectively work from home, almost all employees must use their own internet access, cell phones, tablets, or other devices.  In addition to internet and cell phone costs, some employees have incurred expenses to upgrade their equipment (faster laptops, computer cameras, headsets, workspace furniture, etc.) or to pay for subscriptions to services that allow them to participate in video work meetings, sales calls and otherwise perform their duties.

Although federal law does not require employers to reimburse their employees for their necessary expenses, many states do, including:  California, Illinois, Iowa, Massachusetts, Montana, New York, Pennsylvania, and Washington, D.C.  Each state has its own requirements as to what qualifies as a reimbursable expense, and what employees must do to notify their employer of the expense to trigger the employer’s obligation to pay.

If like many of us, you are working from home using your own equipment, internet access, and cell phone plan, you may be eligible to recover those expenses if you live in a state requiring reimbursement.  If you have any questions about reimbursable work-related expenses in your state, please reach out to the Shavitz Law Group at (800) 616-4000 for a free consultation.


Gregg Shavitz, Shavitz Law Group, 951 Yamato Rd Ste 285, Boca Raton, FL and 800 3rd Ave, Suite 2800, New York, NY.  Lawyers licensed in states including FL, NY, NJ, and TX.  The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based on advertisements alone.

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