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Helping You Navigate Workplace Issues in California

But What About My Expenses? California Law on Unreimbursed Business Expenses


Under California law (California Labor Code §2802), California employers are required to reimburse employees for all “necessary expenditures… incurred by the employee in direct consequence of the discharge of his or her duties…” California law prohibits employers from deducting these necessary, business-related expenses from an employee’s pay.

Common expenses for which an employer is required to reimburse an employee may include: training and seminar costs

  • mileage or all related car expenses
    • if an employee is required to use their car to perform work-related duties, the employer must reimburse the employee for either a.) their actual expenses incurred including gas, depreciation and wear and tear on their vehicle, or b.) at the IRS standard mileage rate (changes annually)
  • cell phone bills/expenses
  • telephone charges/expenses
  • postage and other office supply charges
  • advertising costs
  • subscriptions
  • training and seminar costs
  • business lunches
  • costs associated with transaction errors; and
  • costs to settle disputes with customers

Employers who fail to reimburse employees may not only be responsible for paying the employee’s out-of-pocket expenses, but also responsible for attorney’s fees and costs to collect the expense, as well as interest from the date the employee incurred the expense.

If you are an employee who has incurred business-related expenses and not been reimbursed by your employer, you should contact an experienced California Wage and Hour attorney to discuss your claims. Remember, these claims are typically subject to a short statute of limitations to file, so contacting an attorney quickly is important.

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* Cathleen Scott is licensed to practice in Florida only.

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