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Employee Rights

Reimbursement for Unpaid Wages & Business Expenses

Posted by Eric Kingsley | Nov 17, 2015 | 0 Comments

An employer must reimburse an employee for all necessary expenses or losses incurred in direct consequence of the discharge of his or her duties, including driving expenses and cell phone use. It is required by the California Labor Code Section 2802. The law further provides that the penalty for failing to reimburse an employee includes liability for the expenses plus interest, as well as attorney fees and costs incurred in obtaining reimbursement. Employees can recover up to four years of un-reimbursed expenses.

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In most cases, expenses can be easily calculated. However, driving expenses take in more than just gas and include items such as insurance, maintenance, and repairs, which can make the expenses more complicated. There are several different ways in which an employee may be reimbursed for driving expenses including, the mileage reimbursement method, the actual expense method, and the lump sum method. An employee is entitled to be reimbursed for all driving expenses incurred as part of the job, except for the commute to and from work. For more information about each of these methods, visit here.

As an employee, you are entitled to all of your earned compensation. This includes not only your hourly or salary wages but also overtime, commission, bonuses, off-the-clock work, and vacation time that is unused upon termination of employment.

Employers must pay you at least twice during a calendar month, on days designated as regular paydays. If you think that your employer made a mistake in the calculation of your wages, you have a right to see your payroll records after making a reasonable request to your employer. If your employer fails to provide you access to your records, he or she can be fined and subject to a civil action.

Payment of wages after termination

At the time of termination, an employee who is discharged must be paid all of his or her wages, including accrued vacation days not taken during employment. Many people are not aware that direct deposits of wages terminate immediately when an employee quits or is fired. An employer who willfully fails to pay any of the wages owed to a terminated employee within a designated time frame can be assessed penalties.

Overtime and off-the-clock wages

You must get paid for overtime no later than the pay period following the one in which the overtime was earned. If an employer does not pay you your full wages including overtime, you may be able to recover more than what you are owed for wages.

Off-the-clock work is work that your employer may require you to do before or after the start of your shift, including running errands or picking up supplies. You are entitled to compensation for all work performed, regardless of whether it was during your predetermined shift or not.

Recovering unpaid wages

If you were denied overtime pay or were required to work off the clock without pay, you may be entitled to recover not only pay that is owed to you but also the penalties and the costs of pursuing your claim—including attorney's fees and court costs.

If you are living in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Sacramento, or San Diego and you are not being reimbursed adequately for the expenses you incur in performing your job duties or unpaid wages, contact Kingsley & Kingsley to speak with one of our experienced labor lawyers.

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About the Author

Eric Kingsley

In practice since 1996, the firm's lawyer and co-founder, Eric B. Kingsley, has litigated complex cases and written numerous appeals in state and federal courts on behalf of the California law firm Kingsley & Kingsley, including More than 150 collective actions. Mr. Kingsley focuses his practice ...


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