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Failure to Reimburse Employment Class Action

In California, where it seems that we are always on the road, there has been an increase in class action litigation against employers for the alleged failure to reimburse employees for business expenses, particularly mileage reimbursement.

For example, in a recent class action lawsuit involving prominent retailers, employees alleged that they were not reimbursed for mileage and other work-related travel expenses for:

  • Daily bank deposits;
  • Purchasing supplies for store events;
  • Required travel between stores to attend meetings;
  • Required travel between stores to provide staffing support; or
  • Required travel to transfer inventory.
Are you being properly reimbursed for business expenses by your employer?

Under California Labor Code Section 2802, Orange County 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.” This means that employers must reimburse employees for all money spent on performing work-related duties or following your directions.

If an employer fails to properly reimburse employees, Section 2802 allows an employee to recover un-reimbursed expenses, interest from the date the expense was incurred, reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs incurred by the employee to enforce the rights granted by the statute. If you have not been properly reimbursed by your employer, talk to one of our experienced employment attorneys about your legal rights and potential for financial recovery.

With respect to mileage reimbursement, the IRS rate is generally considered to be the most reasonable reimbursement rate (56.5 cents per mile for business miles driven as of January 2013). While this is not amount is not required by law, make sure you discuss your strategy with an experienced Orange County business attorney before deciding on your own method for reimbursement.

What are some other business expenses that must be reimbursed under California law?

These expenses include:

  • The cost of uniforms – apparel and accessories of distinctive design and color;
  • Maintenance of those uniforms (if required to be worn as a condition of employment by non-exempt employees);
  • The cost of providing and maintaining tools or equipment required for the performance of the job.

If you believe that your employer has not been properly reimbursing you, contact the experienced Orange County employment law attorneys at Hardin & Associates today.