Several states have also enacted their own expense reimbursement laws that either meet or exceed the standard set forth in the FLSA. The amount of the reimbursement is designed to cover various costs associated with travel, including gasoline, insurance, repairs, lease payments, parking fees, and others. otherwise incur expenses in connection with your job. 7700 Irvine Center Dr Suite 930 Irvine CA 92618. We hold that when employees must use their personal cell phones for work-related calls, Labor Code section 2802 requires the employer to reimburse them. The employer is also required to pay interest at a rate of 10% per year on any unreimursed expenses incurred by the employee. If you travel for work, your employer often has to pay you for your time as well. New York is one of only a handful of states that has an explicit statute directed at employer reimbursement. But there is also the issue of fairness to employees who may incur a new set of expenses as a result of working from home rather than from an office or from their vehicle. If the employer reimburses the employee for expenses normally incurred by the employee for his own benefit, he is, of course, increasing the employee's regular rate thereby. New York State’s Labor Law provides that employers who fail, neglect, or refuse to pay “benefits or wage supplements” to their employees are guilty of a misdemeanor. Expense reimbursement is required by law. An employee expense reimbursement policy should define which expenses will be reimbursed and offer information on how to go about receiving funds, via an online form or the submission of receipts. California Labor Code Section 2802 outlines employer responsibilities concerning business expense reimbursement. The employer may then consider whether to offer additional reimbursement or to decline the employee's claim. Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), … Some employers even require employees to install and use certain apps on their phones, such as group messaging, email, timekeeping, and location tracking if an employee is working in the field. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. If you can show that your actual expenses are more than the standard mileage rate, your employer will need to pay the difference between the two. Most courts recognize … Federal law requires reimbursement only when required expenses push a worker’s earnings below minimum wage. At Whitehead Employment Law, employment law is what we do — it’s what we’re passionate about, and it’s the sole focus of our law practice. Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”), an employee is entitled to reimbursement of expenses incurred on the employer’s behalf if that expense brings the earnings of an employee below the federal minimum wage. Even before COVID-19, remote work policies were rising in popularity — usually as an optional perk for employees. California law only requires reimbursement of expenses that are necessary to perform your work duties. At your destination, if you go directly to the training, your employer must continue to pay you. A well-designed policy will also help maximize tax benefits related to expense reimbursement for both employee and employer. Our fees come out of the court verdict or settlement with the company, so you don’t pay anything out of pocket. Working from home? But the policy won’t override your right to reimbursement under California law. Employee Expense Reimbursement Law Section 2802 of the California Labor Code requires an employer to “indemnify his or her employee for all necessary expenditures or losses incurred by the employee in direct consequence of the discharge of his or her duties, … If they do, you can file another complaint against them. If you need certain equipment for your work — such as a computer, tablet, or printer — your employer has to provide that equipment or reimburse you for the cost. Under the California Labor Code, an employer is required to reimburse an employee for all necessary expenditures or losses incurred directly related to the job. Reimbursements are most common … But because travel time is still considered work time, overtime pay rules apply. This means employers must pay back employees who spend their own money for business-related expenses. However, several states (including California, the District of Columbia, Illinois, Iowa, Massachusetts, Montana and New York) have specific state law requirements applicable to employee expense reimbursements. An employee who incurs expenses in connection with his or her employment and at the request of the employer, except those expenses normally borne by the employee as a precondition of employment, which are not paid for by wages, cash advance, or other means from the employer, shall be reimbursed for the payment of the expenses within 30 days of the presentation by the employee of proof of payment. For example, California Labor Code Section 2802(a) requires an … The employer must know or have reason to know of the expenditures. D[^ø璘nÈÀl!ÕíS…*ßîwû0Ì&ÿÇîàgsBýu¼ÅΛ£?!++ÓÝüyµüv—vÊòT|¸_gهӘ5É¥›×9ÞÍæþ1ËÄÞÇ!œÍßíáÑä‡Û4}ø‹³)ÌzmzJAßÚé{{ñ&_ʞö}º?Ì÷§Tóï‰ß÷ɛj¹. If you’re a non-exempt employee, your usual commuting time isn’t paid, but most other work-related travel is. Which states are at the forefront of this legislativemovement? Race Discrimination in the Workplace: What You Need to Know as a California Employee, California Employee Class Action Attorneys, Free Law Guides – California – 6 New Laws, requires you to use your cell phone for work, COVID-19 Sick Pay: What California Employees Need to Know, Sexual Harassment: Your Rights in a Hostile Workplace, Don’t Sign Away Your Rights! 2. That’s because under California law, employers must reimburse their employees for all “necessary expenditures or losses” incurred in connection with their jobs. office supplies such as pens and notepads; business center expenses (copy, fax, printing). When you work remotely, you might also incur other home office expenses. Our firm has won millions of dollars for employees all over California and we only take cases on contingency, which means we don’t get paid unless we win your case. California Labor Code § 2802(c). These expenses can … DISCLAIMER: This article does not provide legal advice and does not establish an attorney-client relationship. This includes expenses as a “direct consequence of the discharge of his or her duties, or of his or her obedience to the directions of the employer.” 1 Types of Reimbursement Expenses To make it easier, many employers reimburse vehicle expenses based on the IRS guidelines for standard mileage reimbursement instead. The rest is … If you drive your personal car for work, your employer has to reimburse you for gas and mileage. If you ever have to travel for work, your employer has to cover all necessary travel expenses, too. Under the law, an employer is not required to reimburse employees for expenses that exceed those … Similarly, Illinois requires reimbursement of all “necessary … A successful lawsuit may help you recover: The Labor Commissioner could also issue a citation against your employer for violating the California Labor Code. California Law Addresses Employee Business Expense Reimbursement. The standard reimbursement rate according to the IRS is 57.5 cents per mile. If this happens to you, you can file a report with the California Labor Commissioner’s office or consult an attorney about filing a lawsuit. When an employee spends his or her own money on “ordinary and necessary” business expenses, a reimbursement or allowance arrangement is the system used to pay them back. Under California law, reimbursement rates must be reasonable. There is no federal requirement to reimburse employees for business-related expenses. By Gary Enis & Amber M. Rogers on March 17, 2020. Your employer should still reimburse you a reasonable percentage if they require you to use them for work. Getting expense reimbursements can sometimes be tricky, as there’s no deadline set by law. Posted in Employment Policies, FLSA/Wage & Hour. This includes “wash and wear” items that can be washed with your other clothing. As an employer, you may have had to reimburse your employees when they incurred an expense on behalf of the company. As noted above, however, upgrades for personal convenience aren’t reimbursable. All is not necessarily lost for employees forced to work at home. This is because you generally must be paid for whatever time you spend subject to the control of your employer. If you have questions about work-related expense reimbursements or other employment issues, you may want to consult an attorney. Severance Agreements and Your Final Paycheck Explained by a California Employment Lawyer. Reimbursement is limited to expenses incurred while the employee discharge’s job duties. But if the fabric requires dry cleaning, ironing, or special laundering, your employer should give you a maintenance allowance. Daily commuting expenses are generally not reimbursable. In addition, your employer has to reimburse you for any paid software or applications they require you to use. The Act requires employees to submit all necessary reimbursement requests with appropriate supporting documentation within 30 days after incurring the expense, unless an employer’s written reimbursement policy provides for additional time to submit a reimbursement request. The rest is up to states and individual employers. This may be the case if you work out in the field, or even if you just run errands for your employer every now and then. This means your employer will be also responsible for some of your expenses if you: The idea is that your employer must provide you with everything you need to perform your duties — it shouldn’t be able to pass its operating expenses on to you. But in California, this doesn’t matter. As of Jan. 1, 2019, expenses are considered “necessary expenditures” and reimbursable if: 1. Your employer must reimburse you for “all necessary expenditures or losses” incurred by you “indirect consequence of the discharge of [your] duties” or “in obedience to [your employer’s] directions.” California Labor Code §2802. Recently, Illinois modified its Wage Payment and Collection Actto include expense reimbursement rules. 2. With offices in San Diego, the attorneys at GrahamHollis APC protect the rights of workers throughout California. The “mileage reimbursement method” is the most common way employers reimburse employees for personal automobile expenses and requires the employee to track all mileage driven for work. The remote work expenses that must be covered … Under federal law, there is no such requirement, as long as employees are making above the minimum wage when work expenses are deducted. Your employer can reimburse your actual driving expenses3 — but this would include gas, maintenance, repairs, insurance, depreciation, and registration. It also doesn’t matter if you have an unlimited plan. California Expense Reimbursement Law Does Not Allow Employees To Waive Their Rights. Examples may include: In addition, under California law employers don’t have to reimburse expenses incurred because an employee chooses to work from home. )Ӎ½¿NmçcÎ>kŠôY›æ-}֙ý÷EYv. Accordingly, commuting to and from work is not covered by Labor Code section 2802. This is true even if you wouldn’t have otherwise bought these items. In California, an employer must reimburse an employee for all “necessary expenditures or losses incurred by the employee in direct consequence or discharge of his or her duties.” Cal. Vehicle expenses are another common reimbursable expense. Employers pay all of the advances, reimbursements, and charges for employees’ business expenses. Mileage reimbursement is when employers offer employees reimbursement for expenses associated with driving on behalf of the business. An employee normally incurs expenses in traveling to and from work, buying lunch, paying rent, and the like. Only “necessary” expenses that employees incur must be reimbursed; expenses that are incurred voluntarily need not be reimbursed by the employer. … Employers must reimburse their employees within 30 days of the reimbursement … The employee submitted the expense for reimbursement with proper supporting documentation* (i.e., a receipt) within 30 calendar days of when it was incurred. Expense reimbursement policy … Such considerations may have long-lasting effects beyond the … Lab. As of January 1, 2020, the standard mileage reimbursement for work-related driving is 57.5 cents per business mile driven. Your employer may owe you for work-related expenses, like cell phones, internet, computer, office supplies and travel costs. If the employer reimburses him for these normal everyday expenses, the payment is not excluded from the regular rate as “reimbursement for expenses.” … Reimbursement May Be Required by Law. But if your employer asks you to perform work-related duties on your way to or from work, under California law they should reimburse your vehicle expenses. What is an employee expense reimbursement? This means if you’re required to work from home, your employer doesn’t have to reimburse “optional” home office expenses. California Employee Rate of Reimbursement. For example, if your employee purchases an item for $220, whether you pay them $220 (the whole price) or a lesser amount, say $110 (half the price), the payment is a reimbursement. But if you’re concerned about your reimbursements, you should first try talking to your employer. As noted above, that rate is typically the one set by the IRS for … As explained above, Massachusetts law requires employers to reimburse their employees for transportation expenses. If you have questions about any of these matters, contact an employment law attorney as soon as possible. When employees receive an expense reimbursement, typically they won’t be required to report such payments as wages or income. If your uniform requires minimal time and expense to maintain, your employer also doesn’t have to pay for maintenance. This means your employer will be also responsible for some of your expenses if you: Reimbursing vehicle expenses isn’t always straightforward. Of course, there’s a good chance that you’d have a cell phone and home internet even if you didn’t have to use them for work. §825.25(d)). If, for example, you have to attend a training, you should be paid for the travel time to and from the training location, minus the time for your usual commute. One unforeseen consequence of requiring employees … The expense reimbursement process allows employers to pay back employees who have spent their own money for business-related expenses. Several jurisdictions have specific rules regarding employee expense reimbursements, so you’ll need to check your local law. Sometimes, however, employers refuse to reimburse legitimate work-related expenses or unreasonably delay reimbursement. This shouldn’t be confused with the costs of driving to and from your place of work. “Exempt” employees are typically those in salaried administrative, executive, or professional roles. In California, if you’re one of these remote workers — even part-time — your employer may be responsible for some of your home office expenses. It may be as little as minimum wage. The employee then reports the miles driven to the employer, who then reimburses the employee according to a set per mile rate. In 2019, Illinois imposed expense reimbursement on employers, mandating they must reimburse for all “necessary expenditures.” The law’s modeled after California’s law that requires firms to pay a “reasonable” percentage of workers’ personal cell phone bills when used for work. *Note: Illinoi… The new Illinois expense reimbursement law, an amendment to the IWPCA (820 ILCS 115/9.5), provides that employers "shall reimburse an employee for all necessary expenditures or losses incurred by the employee within the employee's scope of employment and directly related to … Note that your employer may also have its own travel expense policy. Employers Must Consider Expense Reimbursement for Employees Working at Home Because of COVID-19. If your employer expects you to use your own equipment, they should reimburse you a reasonable amount. Personal entertainment costs, like sightseeing or going to a movie, are generally not reimbursable. reasonable attorneys’ fees and court costs. Furthermore, if the employer maintains a written expense reimbursement policy, the employee must comply with the policy’s terms. If you need legal advice, please contact an attorney directly. New York State Employee Expense Reimbursement Law. These expenses may include, among others: Your employer may also be responsible for these, so long as such expenses are necessary for your job. The information on this website is for general information purposes only. The Illinois law also requires employers to give employees at least 30 days to submit supporting documentation for any expenses for which they are requesting reimbursement, and allows employees to submit a signed, written statement in lieu of such documentation (for example, if the documentation was lost). For example, if an employee is neither required nor encouraged to work at home, the employer is not required to provide reimbursement for any expenses incurred by the employee. Many employees also use their personal devices for work. As stated above, an employer must reimburse an employee for 100 percent of any “necessary expenses,” which California law defines as for the actual costs incurred in … Various California labor and tax laws outline the types of reimbursable expenses. You might also have encountered issues when you yourself were claiming reimbursement for employee benefits like maternity leave from the government. Reimbursable expenses for remote work. Your employer does not have to cover expenses that you incur for your convenience only — though they might choose to. At the same time, the employee must receive full reimbursement for expenses incurred. Thus, employer policies that waive an employee’s right to expenses after a certain deadline are not enforceable. You and your employer would have to find a way to calculate which part of your expenses can be attributed to business use. You make a reimbursement when you pay your employee the amount, or part of the amount, of a particular work-related purchase they make. A “uniform” includes any clothing of a distinctive design or color.4 But your employer does not have to reimburse you for basic items of clothing that are generally usable in your industry, like black pants and a white shirt. An employer, as part of a written expense reimbursement policy, may prescribe specifications or guidelines for necessary expenditures. It may be possible to resolve the problem quickly and easily. If you’re nervous about complaining, keep in mind that it’s unlawful for your employer to retaliate or discriminate against you for pursuing your right to expense reimbursement. Common travel expenses include, among others: But your employer isn’t required to reimburse all expenses you incur while traveling. For example, they may require you to book through a specific travel agent, or they may impose caps on hotel or meal reimbursements. Other than what an employer must reimburse to the employee in order to keep the employee's pay at least at minimum wage, expense reimbursements do not constitute "wages" and may not be the subject of a Texas Payday Law wage claim (see 40 T.A.C. This requirement doesn’t apply to “exempt” employees under California law. The financial penalties imposed by the Labor Commissioner would be paid to you. This guide will help you understand which of your home office and other work-related expenses may be reimbursable under California law. That means if you take part in an optional work-from-home program, your home office expenses may not be reimbursable. If you’d like our help evaluating your case and understanding the options available to you, we would love to help. But with the onset of COVID-19, millions of U.S. workers are now required to work from home. Code § 2802. Your company required or approved the employee to make the expense. 1If your employer requires you to maintain internet access at home, it must also reimburse at least a reasonable percentage of your internet service bill. California Labor Code, Section 2804, states that any agreement, implicit or explicit, to waive an employee’s right to full reimbursement for expenses is unlawful and not enforceable. Otherwise, there are many types of work-related expenses that your employer may have to cover. Many employees use their personal cell phones and home internet for work-related activities. You also make a reimbursement if you pay: 1. your employee when they become liable for an expense, even if they haven't yet paid it 2. your employee an advance for an expense they … If traveling by air, you should be paid from the time you leave your home until you reach the destination (minus your regular commute time), or until you no longer perform work. If an employer pays a fixed amount in the form of a stipend, the employer's policy should allow employees to submit expenses for reimbursement if the employees believe the stipend was insufficient to cover their work-related expenses. We’re committed to effectively representing the rights of employees across the state of California — because we believe that everyone has the right to earn a living and provide for their family, free of unlawful discrimination and harassment. ergonomic furniture or accessories (unless they are medically necessary). In some states employers are required by state law to reimburse their employees for their necessary job expenses. That’s because under California law, employers must reimburse their employees for all “necessary expenditures or losses” incurred in connection with their jobs. That means your employer can’t use its policy to force you to pay out-of-pocket expenses if they’re necessary to perform your duties. If your employer requires you to use your cell phone for work, it must reimburse you for at least a reasonable percentage of your bill. This is because you could still work in your employer’s office and use the supplies and equipment available to you there. higher-speed internet (when a slower speed is enough for your work), printers (when you can do your work digitally), and. If your employer requires you to wear a uniform, it must provide the uniform or reimburse you for the cost. Often, the employer has constructive knowledge of certain expenses, and the employer may still recover under section 2802 despite … Reimbursement Obligations. But once you’re free to do what you choose, such as sleeping or sightseeing, your employer no longer has to pay you. Below are some of the most common. Traveling doesn’t require you to use your skills as an employee, so your employer can pay you less than your normal wages. They can ask their employer to reimburse them for their home office expenses. 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