Does my employer have to reimburse me for work expenses?



Does my employer have to reimburse me for work expenses?

Under California labor law, employees are entitled to reimbursements for any job-related expenses they incur while performing their duties. Employers are legally required to reimburse workers for necessary costs that arise during employment. Business expenses that may qualify for reimbursement include, but are not limited to:

  • Mileage and related car costs
  • Cellphone expenses
  • Supplies for meetings or company events
  • Travel for mandatory work trips
  • Training and seminar costs
  • Office supply and equipment purchases
  • Advertising costs
  • Business lunches

Regarding uniforms, California requires employers to reimburse uniforms but makes a distinction between a “uniform” and “required clothing.” If an employer requires you to wear any sort of “beige pants” then that is “required clothing”—but not generally a “uniform” because it is assumed you could also wear those outside of work (even if you don’t particularly like beige). However if the beige pants are also branded with your employer’s logo, it’s a uniform—and you’re not required to buy it yourself.

In most cases, California workers should not have to pay for job-related expenses out of their own pockets. When employers fail to reimburse employees for qualifying work expenses, they can be held accountable for the employee’s incurred costs.

However, it is important to follow your employer’s expense policy as regards prior approval and reimbursement of expenses.

If you have not received the reimbursements you are owed, you have rights. Our skilled San Francisco employment lawyers are available to help you. Contact McCormack Law Firm to learn more.

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