Employment Law Questions? Ask an Employment Lawyer.
Thank you for your question. An employer can require that an employee use their own personal cell phone for Company business without having to pay them any extra. As far as responding to messages, or doing any other work, when the employee is normally off of work, that depends on the employee's status. If they are an exempt employee, then yes, the employer can essentially require them to work 24/7 without extra pay, unless the employee is on vacation or FMLA. If they are a non-exempt hourly employee, they must be paid for every hour they work.
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Yes, I am sure. You are not in California where the laws are much more favorable to employees than they are in almost every other State including NC. Just like with a vehicle, if an employee incurs extra expenses due to business/employment use that is not reimbursed by the employer, they can deduct those expenses from their taxes. However, neither Federal nor NC law mandates an employer provide the phone or reimburse.