Employee Expense Reimbursement
California Labor Code Section 2802 provides that an employer shall indemnify his/her employee for all necessary expenditures or losses incurred by the employee in the performance of their job. The main consideraton is whether or not the expense was incurred within the course and scope of their employment. Such expenses are normally such things as mileage, travel and dining expenses and an employee can go back as far as three years to recoup their unpaid expenses.
Typically employers disregard sending a person on a “short errand” as a situation that requires reimbursement. It does but only if they are using their own vehicle (ever send an employee to pick up your lunch?). The Labor Board has previously determined that the use of the IRS mileage allowance, currently at 58.5 cents per mile, will satisfy the expenses incurred in the use of an employee’s vehicle.
Now the good news is Labor Code Section 2802 not a “wage” section which means that there is not a specific time frame for the payment. This also means that there are no waiting time penalties associated with the nonpayment of the expense but there can be interest and attorney fees.
As a final note, remember, under the Industrial Welfare Commission Order, section 8, you can’t hold an employee liable for workplace losses, shortages, or damages.
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