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If you once again begin traveling for work, it is important that you know your rights to expense reimbursement. If you have concerns, you should speak with a California unreimbursed business expenses attorney about your options. 

Now that vaccinations are increasing, more and more people might resume travel for work purposes over the course of 2021. While work travel can make the job more interesting, it can also be costly, as any type of travel can be. Employees should know that they have the right to get reimbursed for all qualified expenses and realize when employers are denying them this payment. 

Employers commonly fail to properly reimburse employees for business travel expenses, and if this happens to you, contact our California unreimbursed business expenses lawyers to learn about your best legal options. 

California Law Regarding Travel Expenses

The California Labor Code requires employers to reimburse employees for any necessary losses or expenditures the employee incurs in direct relation to their jobs. If you incur expenses when you follow your employer’s direction (such as to travel) or as a direct consequence of your job duties (such as meeting with out-of-town clients), you should be reimbursed for the costs you cover.

Many people travel for work, and the reimbursement for travel-related expenses will be based on:

  • The nature of your job
  • How often you travel for work
  • How long you spend away from home
  • The policies of your employer regarding travel expenses

This can be a confusing matter, and you always want to make sure you have full understanding of your reimbursement before you travel for work. 

Common Reimbursed Expenses

Work-related travel can cause you to incur many commonly reimbursed expenses, such as:

  • Plane tickets
  • Mileage expenses
  • Rental cars
  • Gas
  • Hotels or other lodging
  • Tolls
  • Parking
  • Taxi or rideshare costs
  • Public transportation costs
  • Costs to access phone or internet
  • Expenses to use business centers, such as printing or copies
  • Registration fees for conferences
  • Postage for shipping work materials
  • Meals and tips
  • Currency conversions for travel to foreign countries

You should not expect your employer to cover the costs of personal entertainment while you travel, though they should reimburse you for your necessary meals. 

Many employers set limits on travel expense reimbursement, such as capping hotel rates or only paying for economy class flights. Some employers set a per diem maximum for expenses. However, if you have necessary work-related expenses that exceed the per diem, the law can overrule your employer’s policies. For example, if you are required to stay in a certain area, and you cannot find any lodging within your employer’s budget, you should likely still receive reimbursement for your lodging expenses despite your employer’s policy. 

Failure to Reimburse

When an employer fails to reimburse you for qualified travel expenses, they are in violation of California labor laws. You have the right to take legal action to seek all unreimbursed expenses. The right lawyer can negotiate with your employer to try to resolve the matter or escalate the matter to court if needed. 

Contact Our California Unreimbursed Business Expenses Lawyers

At the Mara Law Firm, we stand up for California employees and help seek the wages they deserve, including unreimbursed business expenses. Call (619) 234-2833 or contact us online to discuss your rights today.

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