California Telephones laws & HR compliance analysis

California Telephones: What you need to know

Generally, California employers are not obligated to reimburse employees for business expenses. However, employers must reimburse employees for lawful expenditures made under the direct request of the employer (CA Labor Code Sec. 2802). Therefore, employers should not assign a set stipend to cover personal cell phone use as it may be insufficient to cover the amount of employees' bills.
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Under California’s Hand-Held Wireless Telephone: Prohibited Use law, engaging in a call on a cell phone and driving a motor vehicle without a hands-free device is illegal in California (CA Vehicle Code Sec. 23123).
Motorists using hands-free devices may not cover both ears with headphones or earbuds while driving.
A California appeals court has ruled that the law on engaging in phone calls applies when drivers are stopped at traffic lights or are otherwise stopped to obey traffic laws.
Drivers under 18 are prohibited from using cell phones or hands-free devices while driving (CA Vehicle Code Sec. 23124). School bus drivers and operators of transit vehicles may not use any cell phone while driving.
Exceptions. Motorists are allowed to use cell phones while driving to make emergency calls to law enforcement, medical care providers, a fire department, or other emergency services agencies. Use of two-way radios and push-to-talk devices are allowed when driving certain farm and agricultural vehicles and trucks such as emergency tow trucks.
Also, an appellate court has ruled that viewing a GPS or map application on a cell phone or screen does not violate the law (People v. Spriggs,24 Cal. App. 4th 150 (Cal. App. 5th Dist. 2014).
Violations. Law enforcement officers may pull over ...

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