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     Reimbursement for Work  Related Expenses


California law requires an employer to indemnify its employee for all "necessary  expenditures or losses" incurred by the employee in direct consequence of the discharge of their duties, or of the employee's obedience to the directions of the employer, even though unlawful, unless the employee, at the time of obeying the directions, believed them to be unlawful.

The term “necessary expenditures or losses” shall include all reasonable costs, including, but not limited to, attorney’s fees incurred by the employee enforcing the rights granted by the law.



Q:  Are employees in California entitled to be reimbursed for their out-of-pocket work-related expenses?
A: Yes. Employees are entitled to be reimbursed by the employer for all expenses or losses incurred in the direct consequence of the discharge of the employee's work duties. 

Q:  Are employees in California entitled to be reimbursed for the use of their personal cell phones as part of their job?
A: Yes. In California, Employers must pay some reasonable percentage of employees’ cell phone bill when employees are required to use their personal cell phone for work-related purposes. This applies even when the employee has a cell phone plan with limited or unlimited minutes, the phone bill is paid for by a third person, employees changed plans to accommodate worked-related cell phone usage, or employees’ phone are part of a family or group plan.

Q:  Are employees in California entitled to be reimbursed for the cost of using their personal vehicles for work-related activities?
A: Yes. In California, if employees use their personal vehicles to travel on company business, Employers must reimburse employees for the cost of that travel. Consult with an experienced employment law attorney regarding the three ways employers can reimburse employees who use their personal vehicle on the job.

Employers are NOT required to reimburse employees for mileage driven commuting to or from work. The same goes for other transportation costs incurred in commuting to and from work.

Q:  What action can an employee take if the employer does not reimburse the employee for out-of-pocket work-related expenses?
A: An employee can either file a wage claim with the Labor Commissioner's Office, or file a lawsuit in court against the employer to recover the lost wages. Additionally, if the employee no longer works for this employer, the employee can make a claim for the "waiting time penalty."

Q:  What is the procedure that is followed after an employee files a wage claim?
A:  Consult an experience employment law attorney on the procedures that follow after a claim is filed with the Labor Commissioner's office.


Q:  What can an employee do if their employer retaliates against them after the employee informs the employer that they are going to file a wage claim?
A:  If an employer discriminates or retaliates against an employee in any manner (for example, discharges the employee) because the employee filed a wage claim or threats to file a wage claim with the Labor Commissioner, the employee can file a  discrimination-retaliation complaint with the Labor Commissioner's Office, file a lawsuit in court against your employer.

If you have any further questions regarding reimbursement for work-related expenses, or other compensation, or you need legal representation after a claim is filed, contact me at (916) 333-4653 or for a FREE confidential consultation to learn more.

Work-Related Expenses: Practices


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