California Labor Code Section 2802 requires an employer to reimburse you, an employee, for covered expenses and/or losses incurred as a consequence of the discharge of duties. Note the reimbursement includes work travel/driving expenses and cell phone expenses for job related use. Further, California provides that the penalty for failing to reimburse an employee includes the expenses plus interest. It also allows the payment of attorney fees and the costs associated in obtaining your rightful reimbursement. Did you know that employees can recover up to 4 years of un-reimbursed expenses?
Expenses can be easily calculated in almost all cases. In fact, driving expenses may include not just gas, but also repairs, insurance, and maintenance.
Driving Expenses | Reimbursement:
- Lump Sum Method – Your employer pays a fixed amount based on the employee's job duties. This typically includes the number of miles the employee usually drives in performing those duties. In some cases, the amount paid can be added to the employee's base salary as long as it is distinguishable from the salary amount being paid to the employee. In addition, the reimbursement must be enough to cover the actual expenses, and must at least equal the amount under the mileage reimbursement method discussed below.
- Mileage Method – The employee is reimbursed for miles traveled based on an agreed-upon rate with the employer; standard rate is the mileage rate set by the IRS and those rates can change on a periodic basis.
- Actual Expense Method – Under this method, the employer looks at each and every expense, including fuel, maintenance, repairs, insurance, registration, and depreciation.
All job related driving expenses, except commuting, are to be reimbursed to employees. For example, a salesperson is not reimbursed for traveling from home to the first sales call, or from the last call of the day to home, but can receive reimbursement for the sales related travel and meetings in between.
Do you live in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Sacramento, or San Diego? Is your employer not reimbursing you adequately for the expenses you incur in performing your job duties? If so, contact Kingsley & Kingsley to speak with one of our California labor lawyers to recover your Unpaid Wages and Business Expenses that you deserve.
The wage and hour law attorneys at Kingsley & Kingsley help workers in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Sacramento, and San Diego and throughout California.