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Expense Reimbursement

Orange County Attorneys Assisting Employees with Expense Reimbursement

When employees are required to preemptively pay certain business-related expenses, they are entitled to reimbursement from their employers. Unfortunately, not all employers properly calculate costs correctly, and some do not even reimburse their employees as required by law. These practices lead to financial losses that workers should not have to bear. If your employer has failed to pay you for job-related expenses you are due, an Orange County expense reimbursement attorney at the Serendib Law Firm can help you make sure you receive the compensation you’re entitled to. Our attorneys have vast employment law experience and are dedicated to protecting employees’ rights. If you have questions about how to calculate and collect expenses you are legally owed, please contact our office today to find out more about how we can help.

Expenses Qualifying for Reimbursement by Employers

Under the California Labor Code employers must reimburse employees “for all necessary expenditures or losses incurred by the employee in direct consequence of the discharge of his or her duties, or of his or her obedience to the directions of the employer.” Generally, job-related costs that yield receipts are easy to itemize and present to employers for reimbursement. However, some other expenses might be harder to calculate.

For instance, California requires employers to reimburse employees for costs related to their use of a personal vehicle for business purposes. With the exception of their daily commute, employees are entitled to payment for using their own vehicle in any work-related obligation. This includes such tasks as sales calls, making deliveries or driving to meetings. Reimbursement costs for a vehicle include fuel, maintenance, parking, toll fees, and insurance, as well as registration and depreciation. To quantify these expenses, an employer will usually base payment on the mileage rate set by the International Revenue Service (IRS), which is presumptively sufficient to cover an employee’s costs. As of 2022, the standard IRS mileage rate for transportation or travel expenses is 58.5 cents per mile. However, if you believe your employer might be using an alternate, insufficient calculation, a knowledgeable Orange County expense reimbursement lawyer can help assess what you are owed.

Other common work-related expenses that qualify for reimbursement include:

  • Travel expenses, such as plane fare and other on-the-road costs.
  • Computers and other equipment that are not provided but required for job performance.
  • Office supplies
  • Educational conventions or seminars employees are required to attend.

Another sometimes difficult expense to quantify is use of a personal cell phone for business activities. California courts have determined that employees are entitled to reimbursement for a ‘reasonable percentage’ of costs of using their personal phones for work purposes. A ‘reasonable’ standard can sometimes be difficult to assess so it is important for employers to establish a policy for proper reimbursement in these situations. It is also against the law for employers to create contractual obligations that say employees are responsible for job-related expenses covered under the Labor Code. Speaking with a seasoned employment law attorney in Orange County as soon as possible is important if you believe your rights are being violated. Employees who are not properly reimbursed for upfront expenditures are not only entitled to receive unpaid compensation but also accrued interest. Employees who are denied proper payments may be awarded attorney’s fees as well in some instances.

Orange County Expense Reimbursement Lawyers

Being an employee should not require you to spend your own money on an employer’s behalf. At the Serendib Law Firm, our expense reimbursement attorneys make sure that Orange County employees are properly paid back for out-of-pocket costs they incur for work. We offer dedicated and comprehensive legal services for clients throughout Southern California including Los Angeles, San Bernardino, and Riverside Counties. If you need assistance determining whether or not you are entitled to reimbursement from your employer, or have concerns about any other violations of your workers’ rights, please contact our office by phone at 1-800-LAW-8225 (800-529-8825) or online today.

Client Reviews
"Integrity, competency, and compassion! Dimuth Amaratunga has represented me and counseled me in several matters over the last several years, and each time, I have benefited tremendously from his knowledge, his wisdom and his empathy. He is without a doubt an authority in employment law and personal injury. But most importantly, he has compassion and truly focused on getting the best result for his clients. I am a practicing attorney and I wholeheartedly recommend him and his firm!" David J.