San Diego Employee Reimbursement Lawyer
Have you incurred work-related expenses that your employer is required to – but hasn’t – reimbursed? Call Ferraro Vega for help at (619) 693-7727, and get a free consultation to discuss your case with a San Diego employee reimbursement lawyer today.
California’s labor code protects you from illegal wage practices and requires employers to reimburse covered expenses.
You protect your rights and recover the compensation you are owed. You do not need to face a legal battle or risk retaliation alone.
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How Ferraro Vega San Diego Employment Lawyers Can Help with an Employee Reimbursement Case
When you incur expenses for items or travel required for your job and you are not reimbursed fully, you may be entitled to recover your costs plus interest from your employer. Unfortunately, recovering the compensation you are owed is not always easy.
While California law offers many forms of protection, including protection against retaliation, recovering the money you are owed is a multi-step process. You may need to file a claim with the appropriate government agency and even file a lawsuit against your employer to recover damages.
You deserve an experienced San Diego employment attorney by your side to ensure your claim is as strong as possible and guide you through the legal process.
Cases involving employment law require experience and skill. At Ferraro Vega San Diego Employment Lawyers, we focus only on employment litigation to deliver the expertise and insight you need. We understand how daunting it can be to go up against your employer. We put our years of experience to work for you on a contingency-fee basis so you can benefit from legal counsel without out-of-pocket expenses.
Trust Ferraro Vega San Diego Employment Lawyers to handle your reimbursement case and we will:
- Offer sound legal advice and guidance at every stage of your case
- Help you calculate exactly how much you are owed in unreimbursed expenses
- Gather proof of your expenses
- File a claim with the appropriate agency
- Seek damages, including interest and attorney’s fees, from your employer
- Protect you against retaliation
You deserve to be reimbursed for the work-related expenses you have incurred. You do not need to go up against your employer alone. Ferraro Vega San Diego Employment Lawyers is here to help you.
Contact our law office today to schedule a free consultation with a San Diego employee expense reimbursement lawyer who will help you take the next steps in your claim. You do not pay any attorney’s fees unless we win your case and we will seek compensation for your legal fees from your employer.
What Work-Related Expenses Must Be Reimbursed in Southern California?
California Labor Code Section 2802 requires employers to reimburse workers for necessary expenses employees incur on the job. This includes job-related purchases for the benefit of the employer.
The statute specifically states that employers must indemnify their employees for necessary expenditures incurred “in direct consequence of the discharge of his or her duties” or at the direction of the employer.
Common work-related expenses for which employers must reimburse employees include:
- The cost to work remotely or from home. This includes internet service and home office equipment.
- Work-related use of the employee’s personal vehicle in the form of a mileage reimbursement
- Cell phone and service for work-related use.
- Compensation for time spent on work-related communications including by phone or email.
- The purchase and maintenance of required work uniforms
- The cost of tools and supplies necessary to perform the job.
Employers must also reimburse employees for necessary work-related travel expenses such as airfare, conference registration fees, and hotel accommodations.
To determine if an expense qualifies for employer reimbursement, it must meet three necessary requirements:
- The expense was reasonable and necessary
- The expense was incurred in the course of the job, and
- The employer knew or should have known the expense would be incurred.
This means not all work-related expenses must be reimbursed. For example, if an employer requires an employee to attend an out-of-town convention, they must reimburse for airfare. However, they do not have to reimburse an employee for a first-class ticket.
Are There Expenses That Do Not Qualify for Employer Reimbursement?
Expense reimbursement is only necessary for reasonable, necessary expenses the employer had reason to know would be incurred.
The most common work-related expenses that an employer does not need to reimburse include:
- Work clothing that is generic and not a uniform. For example, if employees are only required to wear black trousers and white shirts, the employer does not need to pay for them. Uniforms that are branded or specific are reimbursable.
- Meals during a trip the employer requires or requests.
- Traffic fines an employee incurs on a work-related trip. Tolls, on the other hand, must be reimbursed.
- Fees for a professional license needed to do the job. This license is not specific to the employer but the field and can be used to hold a similar job with any employer.
- Continuing education related to the employee’s field or job.
A common area of confusion involves equipment that is for personal and work use. A cell phone is a typical example. If the actual cost of the equipment for work use can’t be determined, which may be the case with an unlimited cell phone plan, the employer must reimburse the employee for a “reasonable percentage” of the cost.
Understanding Mileage Reimbursement in California
While most work-related expenses are easy to calculate, driving costs are more complicated. The expenses you face for required work-related travel is more than simply the gas you use as it must take into account your insurance as well as maintenance and repairs. Using your vehicle for work purposes increases wear and tear and this should be considered in reimbursement.
There are a few ways to reimburse mileage for your work-related travel.
Mileage Reimbursement Method
With this method, your employer reimburses you for the miles traveled using a standard rate. Beginning 2021, the standard mileage rate is 56 cents per mile for business travel. This IRS mileage rate considers the cost of repair, maintenance, insurance, gas, and depreciation.
California courts and the California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE) have said that the IRS mileage rate generally satisfies the employer’s requirement to reimburse for work-related use of a personal vehicle. However, if you can show this mileage rate does not cover your actual expenses, your employer must pay the difference.
Actual Expense Method
This method will involve the employer carefully reviewing every actual expense. This includes vehicle registration, insurance, depreciation, maintenance, repairs, and gasoline. This method can be complicated, especially when it comes to depreciation and determining the share of business use.
Lump Sum Method
With this method, your employer pays a lump sum based on your job duties with the number of miles you generally drive included in your duties. The lump sum can be added to your base pay, but it must be distinguishable from your salary. It must also be enough to fully compensate you for your actual driving-related expenses.
Recovering Unreimbursed Work Expenses in San Diego
California law is clear about what is and is not considered a work-related expense that must be reimbursed. One of the greatest challenges in an unpaid work expense claim is proving the expenses you have paid.
Only unpaid work-related expenses dating to four years from the date the lawsuit is filed can be recovered. To be successful in your case, it’s crucial to gather evidence that proves your expenses.
This may include:
- Work-related receipts
- Reimbursement requests you have submitted
- Your employer’s reimbursement policy
- Messages directing you to purchase an item
- Messages requesting reimbursement from your employer
- Mileage logs with details about the date, start/end location, mileage, and purpose)
In addition to recovering work expenses through a lawsuit, California Labor Code also requires employers to pay for any legal expenses including attorney’s fees if an employee must enforce their rights to seek reimbursement. In addition, the employer must pay 10% interest per year on an employee’s work expenses that are not reimbursed.
When your employer fails to reimburse you for work-related costs, you have the right to recover the expenses plus interest and attorney’s costs. An experienced San Diego employee expense reimbursement lawyer can help you file a wage claim. This may be done through the Department of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE) or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). If this does not resolve your claim, a lawsuit against your employer may be necessary.
Contact a San Diego Employee Reimbursement Lawyer
Has your employer failed to fully reimburse you for qualifying work-related expenses? You should not be left with a financial burden just to do your job. A San Diego employment reimbursement lawyer at Ferraro Vega San Diego Employment Lawyers is here to help you fight for your rights and the compensation you deserve.
Call our law office today to schedule a free case review with an experienced employment lawyer who can help you.