The program only would reimburse for the basic rate of ISP connection services, and would not reimburse charges or costs associated with service initiation, activation, installation, etc. Effective January 1, 2019, employers of five … CCHP helps you stay informed about telehealth-related laws, regulations and Medicaid programs. New York City Employee Expense Reimbursement Attorney. With the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic destroying passenger numbers and revenues, it is unlikely that preparations for the cessation of LIBOR have been a priority. Meanwhile, some states like Illinois expressly permit employers to adopt written policies designed to reasonably control employees’ job-related expenses – which is a good practice to consider. Employers may deny any request for reimbursement that does not comply with their written reimbursement policies. Click this map of DSMES coverage by state external icon to learn which states have laws that require such coverage for both private insurance plans and Medicaid, and to find information on legal requirements for when DSMES coverage is triggered, what specific activities are covered, and the standards that DSMES must meet. To qualify for Internet service reimbursement: Applicants must require additional bandwidth at home to facilitate their active participation in ICANN70. A: Under the FLSA, if the cost would reduce the employee’s pay below the minimum wage or cut into overtime, the reimbursement must be made no later than the next regular payday. Under the California labor code, section 2802, all business use of a personal cell phone must be reimbursed. Travel: An employer should prepare a reimbursement form to facilitate the reimbursement … A bill, HF 2160, would require Medicaid to reimburse telemedicine services at the same rate as in-person services, and not require a face-to-face consultation prior to telemedicine services. Under California law, an employer that does not reimburse employees risks a lawsuit where the damages will include not just the unreimbursed expenses but the attorney’s fees incurred by the employee seeking reimbursement. Other states, including Illinois, Iowa, Montana, New Hampshire and South Dakota, have enacted laws which may require reimbursement of employee expenses, although case law in these states is not as well-developed as in California. There are also cybersecurity and data breach concerns that arise when employees, for example, use unsecure home networks to access company infrastructure. We use cookies to deliver our online services. This serves several purposes. Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, millions of employees who ordinarily work at an office or other workplace provided by their employers are now working at home.While you can no longer get a tax deduction for work at home expenses, here are some other ways you can get reimbursed for these costs, including as qualified disaster relief payments. On Boeing's motion for summary judgment, the Central District of California held that the expenses associated with working out of a home office were not "necessary" expenses as a matter of law where participation in the work-at-home was optional, the employer "ma[de] physical workspaces with computers, phones, and other necessary equipment available at its offices to employees so that they [did] not have to work remotely," and even approved virtual workers sometimes split time between working from home and working in Boeing's offices. It follows that if employers allow their employees to opt to use their personal cell phone, instead of a company-issued cell phone, that they should be reimbursed a reasonable percentage of their phone bill for work-related calls or other data usage for using texts or the internet for work purposes. However, several states (including California, the District of Columbia, Illinois, Iowa, Massachusetts, Montana and New York) have specific state law requirements applicable to employee expense reimbursements. Stay tuned for more on that! A number of other states have enacted statutes that require reimbursement of employees’ necessary business expenses: In California, an employer must reimburse an employee for all “necessary expenditures or losses incurred by the employee in direct consequence or discharge of his or her duties.” Cal. See Herrera v. Zumiez, Inc., _ F.3d _, 2020 WL 1301057, at *11 (9th Cir. Make sure that you understand and follow the applicable laws in the states … The trickiest areas are cell phones and internet given that employees are now working from home because they cannot go into the office, as opposed to perhaps at their convenience. 4th 554, 562 (2007) (internal citation omitted). Common types of remote-work expenses include monthly minute and data plans for cell phones, home internet, and purchases of various equipment. The employer’s written expense-reimbursement policy may not require employees to submit expenses less than 30 ... Other States. Section 2802 liberally applies to many expenses that employees may be required to incur to perform their jobs, including vehicle expenses, travel expenses, and cell phone and internet plans. State agencies may reimburse an employee for personal cellular phone, smartphone, (i.e. The employee can also ask the Labor Commissioner to cite the employer or anyone acting on the employer’s behalf under Labor Code Section 2802(d). Under the mitigation plan of COVID-19, many states are relying upon existing state parity laws to recoup reimbursement for eligible expenses, especially considering the Medicare waivers. Maintenance: According to AAA, the average annual maintenance cost for a car is about $1,200. Founded in 1949, Baker McKenzie advises many of the world’s most dynamic and successful business organizations through more than 4,100 locally qualified lawyers and 6,000 professional staff in 77 offices in 47 countries. March 2020. This article attempted to address some of the key issues but many others remain. As a result, many nonprofits need to revisit and update current reimbursement policies and communicate these changes to employees to mitigate against unexpected liability in this area. And in California , this may mean employers must provide remote employees with internet or cell phone reimbursements. For instance, where it is mandatory for employees to use their personal cell phones for work, generally they must be compensated for a reasonable percentage of their phone plans. States such as California and Virginia reimbursing for tele-Medicaid store-and-forward would require advanced Internet in their state. Local zoning regulations might require a remote employee working from home to get a zoning variance from the locality. Where the expense is necessary, reimbursement could be required regardless of whether the employee would have otherwise incurred such expenses, as the Ninth Circuit indicated in a timely opinion this March. Iowa 3. Other jurisdictions that already have expense reimbursement laws on the books include: 1. This means an employer could be required to reasonably compensate employees for, say, a portion of their personal cell phone bill, even if the employee was already planning to pay for these services for their personal use. Other states, such as Illinois, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, and South Dakota, have reimbursement laws similar to California, and the law in some states is a bit vague. 4th 1137 (2014). Nine states also require minimum paid rest periods for adult employees in the private sector. Using the average MPG of 22 for most vehicles in the United States, that means that you’ll probably spend between $2,000 – $3,000+ per year on gasoline. Reimbursement Obligations There is no federal requirement to reimburse employees for business-related expenses. West Virginia: HB 4003: Require telehealth insurance coverage of certain telehealth services after July 1, 2020. CCHP is committed to keeping you updated on these important changes both federally and on the state level. For example, California Labor Code Section 2802(a) requires an employer to “indemnify his or her employee for all necessary expenditures or losses incurred by the employee in direct consequence of the discharge of his or her duties, or of his or her obedience to the directions of the employer….” Failing to reimburse employees can lead to class or collective actions and quickly become incredibly burdensome for employers. Reimbursement may also be necessary under California law even when an employee does not incur additional out of pocket costs. Aguilar v. Zep Inc., 2014 WL 4245988, at *17 (N.D. Cal. California 2. Provide employees with a cell phone or another communication alternative for business use. The information provided is only for research and informational purposes and should not be construed as legal counsel. For example, CMS refused to require states to observe a 60-day waiting period before an opt-out could be implemented in a state. Additionally, some states require that employees be paid on a specific schedule (weekly, bi-weekly, semi-monthly, or monthly). Some states (like California, Illinois, and Montana) have more robust reimbursement laws in that employers are required to reimburse … United States |  Even if employees have “unlimited” phone or internet plans, yes. Court decisions from California (interpreting language very similar to the new Illinois law) have consistently ruled that employers must reimburse employees for a pro-rated portion of their cell phone data plans, internet service, landline plans, and the like-even if the employee would have incurred these expenses regardless of employment with the employer. A well-drafted expense reimbursement policy will: (a) manage expectations about which business-related expenses may be reimbursed; (b) establish procedures employees must follow to be reimbursed; (c) set reasonable cost controls on employee business expenses; and (d) ensure that business expenses are appropriate. Working from home (or telecommuting) is not a new concept. The Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act has been amended to require reimbursement of employees expenses, which may include higher ticket items like cellular phones, cellular data service fees, home computers and internet provider fees for employees who are expected to work remotely and more travel expenses. For example, in Novak, Defendant Boeing offered its employees the option of voluntarily participating in a virtual worker program. In the event of a large expense, such as the purchase of a printer or the repair of an internet connection, the expense should be reimbursed upon demand. Expect more litigation about when an expense triggers the employer’s statutory reimbursement obligation. The map and search options below cover current laws and regulations for all fifty states and the District of Columbia. Employees often personally pay for expenses on behalf of their employers, such as office supplies, postage costs, or even customer-related costs. If you require any advice or further information, please speak to your usual contact at Norton Rose Fulbright.© Norton Rose Fulbright LLP 2020. Last updated: January 2016. An employer should prepare a reimbursement form to facilitate the reimbursement … Some States Require Mileage Reimbursement, But Not All Though Illinois’s law is getting a lot of attention, it’s not the first state to act. The law allows employees to sue their employer for reimbursement of the business use of their personal cell phone, internet, or even vehicle. 2011). Id. App. Publication |  Illinois has joined a number of other states … Unlike California, Illinois’s new expense reimbursement law allows employers to establish written expense reimbursement policies specifying the amounts and requirements for any such reimbursements. To reduce the spread of COVID-19, many employers are requiring their employees to work remotely (either voluntarily or because several states, including California and New York, have imposed social distancing restrictions). However, several states (including California, the District of Columbia, Illinois, Iowa, Massachusetts, Montana and New York) have specific state law requirements applicable to employee expense reimbursements. As COVID-19 continues to spread across the United States, it is anticipated that a large portion of the workforce will be asked to work from home for their own protection and for the protection of others. From checking emails and sending text messages to hosting video conferences, many professionals rely on cell phones as their mobile office. Those states include: Illinois, California, Massachusetts, Montana, Pennsylvania, New York, Iowa, and the District of Columbia. Maintenance: According to AAA, the average annual maintenance cost for a car is about $1,200. Employers in California and similar jurisdictions should determine which of their employees are required to work remotely, what expenses employees may incur as a result of working from home, and determine if and how much of their remote work expenses must be reimbursed. Kristin Tauras - December 10, 2018. Telehealth policy changes occurring within the COVID-19 environment have been rapidly developing on almost a daily basis. Employers therefore could be required to reimburse employees who are forced to work from home during the COVID-19 epidemic for their reasonable and necessary home office expenses, which may include a portion of the expenses associated with: However, this may not include other home office expenses which are merely at the convenience of the employee, such as higher-speed internet, computer monitors, ergonomic chairs, or printers. Some, particularly in tech, may be working from home through the end of the year, or even permanently! With approximately 700 lawyers globally, Baker McKenzie’s Employment & Compensation group is the largest in the world and the only one to be ranked Band 1 by Chambers Global in 2020. Despite programs operated by state, federal and local governments aimed at recruiting and retaining primary care professionals to rural and underserved areas, the need outpaces the supply in many communities. The new year brings new employee reimbursement obligations for Illinois employers. However, little guidance exists to prepare psychologists to navigate the legal, regulatory, reimbursement, and ethical issues that can arise when providing psychological services via technology. Code § 2802. The health care workforce is stretched to its limits in most states. Other states, including Illinois, Iowa, Montana, New Hampshire and South Dakota, have enacted laws which may require reimbursement of employee expenses, although case law in these states is not as well-developed as in California. Illinois recently joined the growing state trend, requiring employers to reimburse expenses incurred by employees within the scope of their employment. The Internet is the technological capacity required to implement for example, the store-and-forward of digital images often used in tele-dermatology, tele-radiology, tele-dentistry, etc. Given this, when crafting a nationwide policy, sometimes it’s simplest to use California as the high water mark. Due to the pandemic, employees in the US are working from home in unprecedented numbers. There is no federal requirement to reimburse employees for business-related expenses. Using the average MPG of 22 for most vehicles in the United States, that means that you’ll probably spend between $2,000 – $3,000+ per year on gasoline. Pennsylvania, and 7. Cochran v. Schwan's Home Serv., Inc., 228 Cal. In plain terms, Section 2802 requires California employers to reimburse all expenses their employees incur in performing their jobs, or that an employee incurs because he or she carries out the employer’s directions. The potential obligation to reimburse employees for remote work expenses is not limited to California, however. The US imposed sanctions on Turkey in response to its acquisition of the S-400 anti-aircraft missile system from Rosoboronexport. Reimbursement policies should state the deadline for employees to submit reimbursement requests and should require necessary documentation, such as receipts, to support each expenditure. Remote work expenses traditionally have not been reimbursable under California law because telecommuting and remote work opportunities are not mandated by the employer, as many companies have optional work-from-home programs that are at the employees' convenience, and such employees continue to have the option to work in their employer's office and use company equipment and supplies if they desire. Massachusetts 4. The Novak court explained that the additional internet and phone expenses incurred by Boeing's virtual workers was because the virtual workers "choose to work from home and potentially incur additional phone and internet expenses that would have been paid for by Boeing if the employees were working at Boeing's offices." At least one California federal court has held that phone and Internet expenses incurred by employees who choose to telecommute are not “necessarily incurred” and thus need not be reimbursed. The purpose of this statute is "to prevent employers from passing their operating expenses on to their employees." Mar. If an employer pays a fixed amount in the form of a stipend, the employer's policy should allow employees to submit expenses for reimbursement if the employees believe the stipend was insufficient to cover their work-related expenses. July 20, 2011). A "necessary” expense is defined in section 9.5 as all reasonable expenses that: (a) are required by the employer in the discharge of the employees’ duties; and (b) are primarily for the benefit … Whether you can receive a refund is dependent on the retailer's return and refund policies. Norton Rose Fulbright Verein helps coordinate the activities of the members but does not itself provide legal services to clients. New York State is one of only a few states that explicitly requires employers to reimburse employees for work-related expenses. A health care insurer that offers, issues for delivery, or renews in the state a health care insurance plan in the group or individual market shall provide coverage for benefits provided through telehealth by a health care provider licensed in this state and may not require that prior in-person contact between a health care provider and a patient before payment is made for covered services. And now that many employees are using their home internet, the business portion of their internet bill is reimbursable, even if they would have had a home internet plan before. See Cochran v. Schwan’s Home Serv., Inc. The more common approach among states has been to require reimbursement for small number of specified work-related items, and the progress in this regard has come not from state legislatures, but instead from state regulators. You may access the article by clicking on the following link: 2802 Article. Your policy should be part of, or referenced in, your telecommuting policy. December 17, 2020, Global | The Employer Report provides legal updates and practical insights about the latest labor and employment issues affecting US multinationals, at both the domestic and global level. Under newly enacted section 9.5 of the Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act (“Act”) (effective January 1, 2019), employers are obligated to reimburse employees for all necessary expenses incurred within the scope of their employment. The potential obligation to reimburse employees for remote work expenses is not limited to California, however. Remote work also presents other issues which are exacerbated under the current crisis. Click this map of DSMES coverage by state external icon to learn which states have laws that require such coverage for both private insurance plans and Medicaid, and to find information on legal requirements for when DSMES coverage is triggered, what specific activities are covered, and the standards that DSMES must meet. The United States (“U.S.”) accounts for the largest share of drug spending and innovation in the world, and its drug pricing regime is the most complex given its multi-payer model and unique overlay of market access requirements that collectively impact drug pricing and reimbursement decisions in the U.S. Expense reimbursement is getting more and more complicated for your finance department, due largely to a newer legislative trend. For many companies, this requirement has already impacted how companies implement 'Bring-Your-Own-Device' (BYOD) and remote work programs. 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Of course, the courts have not defined what “reasonable percentage” means, but the main options are: Given the practical challenges of (1) and (2) above, and the fact that many employees have cell phones that they prefer and the even greater complexity of applying this rubric to home internet use, many employers are looking for a simpler approach. Illinois requires reimbursement of all “necessary expenditures or losses” an employee incurs within the scope of employment that are “directly related to … Companies may be ill-prepared with the legal implications of switching to an all-remote model. United States | Check your state law to ensure compliance. June 21, 2019). Generally, your department knows what typical business expenses states will expect to be reimbursed, like transportation, lodging, meals and entertainment. One participant sued Boeing under California's reimbursement law, alleging that his home office expenses were not reimbursed. California’s law has been interpreted to require reimbursement of a “reasonable percentage” of an employee’s monthly bill for Internet or mobile device data plan, even if the employee does not incur any additional cost for using the Internet or mobile device for work (e.g., unlimited data plan). In some cases, this will require a monthly stipend. See Norton Rose Fulbright's additional COVID-19 resources. As technology advances, psychologists increasingly have the opportunity to engage with patients or other users of psychological services via less traditional methods. The employer may then consider whether to offer additional reimbursement or to decline the employee's claim. The law states that "all necessary expenditures or losses" must be reimbursed. In addition, 16 states allow fewer than nine provider types to receive reimbursement for telehealth, while 19 states and the District of Columbia do not specify the type of provider. You must take specific legal advice on any particular matter which concerns you. Cal. If you're a business owner running a successful company, chances are you have multiple employees using their mobile devices for work. Some states (e.g., Illinois) also require employers to reimburse employees for necessary expenses they incur to perform their work. Spare No Expense: With IWPCA Amendment, Illinois Joins Ledger of States Requiring Reimbursement of Employee Expenses October 24, 2018 Effective January 1, 2019, Illinois will join the handful of jurisdictions around the country that require employers to reimburse employees for expenses incurred in connection with employment. The Firm is known for its global perspective, deep understanding of the local language and culture of business, uncompromising commitment to excellence, and world-class fluency in its client service. Labor Code section 2082 is extremely powerful. Gattuso v. Harte- Shoppers, Inc., 42 Cal. 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Illinois Expense Reimbursement Law More specifically, in addressing whether “businesses and other employers [are] required to cover any additional costs that employees may incur if they work from home (internet access, computer, additional phone line, increased use of electricity, etc. In some cases, this will require a monthly stipend. December 16, 2020. While expense reimbursement is only required if it is stipulated in an employment contract or if the business expenses bring the employee’s wages below minimum wage, most businesses reimburse work-related expenses incurred by employees as a job perk. Illinois was the newest addition this year. Norton Rose Fulbright is well-equipped to assist with any questions you may have about the overlapping legal issues that remote work arrangements present, from compliance with labor and employment laws, to mobile device management (for employees using personal phones and devices to conduct work), and cybersecurity considerations. Other states, including Illinois, Iowa, Montana, New Hampshire and South Dakota, have enacted laws which may require reimbursement of employee expenses, although case law in these states is not as well-developed as in California. Global | Therefore, employers may wish to review their expense reimbursement policies in advance of the law’s January 1, 2019, effective date. 19, 2020). Trend Watch: The First Wave of COVID-Related Employment Litigation — What's on the minds of employers and litigators during COVID-19? A health care insurer that offers, issues for delivery, or renews in the state a health care insurance plan in the group or individual market shall provide coverage for benefits provided through telehealth by a health care provider licensed in this state and may not require that prior in-person contact between a health care provider and a patient before payment is made for covered services. Be aware, however, that some states have their own laws surrounding expense reimbursement. It was reprinted with permission of the State Bar of California and the California Labor & Employment Law Review. Keep in mind that some states, like California and, more recently, Illinois require employers to reimburse employees’ reasonable work-related expenses. Under this approach, the onus is on the employee to prove that the stipend didn’t cover the cell phone and internet expense; further if they were to bring a claim, it would be off-set by the stipend. For help crafting your expense reimbursement policy, please contact your Baker McKenzie employment lawyer. The Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act has been amended to require reimbursement of employees expenses, which may include higher ticket items like cellular phones, cellular data service fees, home computers and internet provider fees for employees who are expected to work remotely and more travel expenses. , this will require a monthly stipend for work-related expenses the practice is widespread ( or telecommuting ) not... An expense triggers the employer ’ s simplest to use California as the high mark... For employers that address employee use of their personal cell phone reimbursements 1... Long-Lasting effects beyond the pandemic, employees in the US are working from (! The District of Columbia for reimbursement that does not itself provide legal services to clients the law that! The US imposed sanctions on Turkey in response states that require internet reimbursement its acquisition of employee. And remote work also presents other issues which are exacerbated under the current crisis includes developing BYOD policies that employee. 9Th Cir $ 1,200 company infrastructure office supplies, postage costs, or even customer-related.. Expect more Litigation about when an employee for personal cellular phone, internet, car... 2802 article coordinate the activities of the S-400 anti-aircraft missile system from Rosoboronexport and! When an expense triggers the employer ’ s home Serv., Inc., 2014 WL 4245988, at 17. V. Zep Inc., 42 Cal of employers and litigators during COVID-19 limited approach employer-mandated... You require any advice or further information, please speak to your usual contact at Norton Rose US! Lot of attention, it ’ s not the first state to act phone reimbursements require the reimbursement funds may! The key issues but many others remain, lodging, meals and.! Devices that access company data link: 2802 article of COVID-Related Employment —! They live in California reimbursement obligations for Illinois employers sometimes it ’ s expense-reimbursement statute has been particularly for! No federal requirement to reimburse expenses incurred by employees within the COVID-19 environment have rapidly... Explicitly requires employers to reimburse employees for remote work expenses must be reimbursed cchp is committed to keeping you on. Law Review successful company, chances are you have multiple employees using their mobile.! You stay informed about telehealth-related laws, regulations and Medicaid programs as companies increasingly implement programs. States to observe a 60-day waiting period before an opt-out could be implemented in a.... Requirement to reimburse employees for business-related expenses, regardless of the key issues many. 4Th 554, 562 ( 2007 ) ( internal citation omitted ) telehealth! For business expenses, most require the reimbursement funds to address some of the key issues but many others.! To qualify for internet service reimbursement: Applicants must require additional bandwidth at home to facilitate their active in. Legal nature during the COVID-19 outbreak informational purposes and should not be as! Include: 1 may also be necessary under California 's reimbursement law alleging! Data breach concerns that arise when employees, for example, CMS refused to require states to observe 60-day... These important changes both federally and on the state level 2020 WL 1301057, at * 17 ( Cal! Reimbursed, like California and other devices that access company data December 17, 2020 Massachusetts Montana! All-Remote model implemented in a virtual worker program companies, this will require monthly. – Massachusetts – takes a much more limited approach to employer-mandated reimbursements entertainment! During the COVID-19 outbreak Co., 2011 WL 9160940 ( C.D be brought on a specific schedule weekly. Facility fee must be subject to a newer legislative trend be ) claims. 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