Q. An employee uses his own smartphone to access company email and conduct work from home. The work is on his own initiative—it’s not required, but we’re aware of it. Are we obligated to pay any portion of his monthly bill? — Mona, Ohio
A. No. However, many employers choose to provide phones or other devices to their employees to use for business. There are many good reasons to do so. For example, the employer can deduct the phone’s cost as a business expense.
If you do allow employees to conduct work using their own devices, be sure to consider issues like data privacy, data recovery and, for, potential overtime liability for work performed outside normal hours.