Fox Employee Files Class Action Lawsuit Over Remote Work Expenses
The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in employers closing their offices and asking employees to work remotely in 2020. While the switch to working from home initially arose from necessity, such arrangements have continued even as the threat of the coronavirus continues to wane.
With many employees working remotely for the first time, there has been uncertainty about whether traditional workplace rules still apply. One area of concern is employer policies regarding remote work expense reimbursements.
California labor law requires employers to reimburse workers for any business-related costs they incur, including during remote work. Workers have a right to speak up when they have not been reimbursed properly, as a recent class-action lawsuit highlights.
A senior financial analyst at Fox Broadcasting Co. LLC sued the company for failure to reimburse business expenses in violation of the California Labor Code. Fox employees were not reimbursed for remote work expenses such as internet service and electricity costs they incurred while performing necessary work-related tasks. The employer also expected workers to use their personal cellphones for job duties.
A former employee of Fox filed the class-action lawsuit in Los Angeles County Superior Court, representing a class of around a thousand current and former Fox employees who worked remotely in California for at least one pay period. The lawsuit covers the period between the present and March 2020, when work-from-home orders were enforced.
Remote work expenses ranged from $50 to $100 per month for each worker. According to the complaint, Fox owes its employees an estimated $2.9 million. Plaintiffs are seeking reimbursement of the business expenses and restitution for the alleged violations.
Under California law, employers are required to reimburse workers for all necessary and reasonable business expenses incurred while carrying out employment duties. The law also applies to remote work. The details of a worker’s job and the employer’s reimbursement policies determine whether a work-related expense is eligible for reimbursement.
Some types of business expenses that may be reimbursed include home office supplies, travel costs, vehicle expenses, electric bills, cellphone plans and internet services. If an employee is expected to use their own cellphone for work, they must typically be reimbursed for a reasonable percentage of the bill.
If your employer did not reimburse you for your remote work expenses, discuss your situation with McCormack Law Firm to find out about your options. We are dedicated to protecting the rights of workers in the San Francisco Bay Area. Contact us today to speak with a skilled San Francisco employment lawyer.
While our law firm was not involved with this class action lawsuit, we have experience representing workers in several other class actions, as well as individual employees’ wage and hour lawsuits.
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