California Unreimbursed Expenses Case

Is Your Employer Reimbursing You for Your Work Expenses?

Did you know that under California Labor Code Section 2802, employers must reimburse their employees for any expenses incurred which are necessary to the performance of their duties? A few examples of such recoverable expenses are:

  • Monthly cell phone bills where employees use their personal phones to speak, text, and e-mail with their employer or customers, even when an employee’s personal plan provides for unlimited calls, texts, and data;
  • Home internet and cell phone data used for work- related e-mails and online research;
  • Gas, mileage, and tolls for business-related travel; and
  • Office supplies, such as stationery and software, used for the benefit of the employer’s business.

Particularly in the financial and banking sectors, employees frequently incur work- related expenses and use their personal cell phones and home internet for work purposes, including for example speaking with customers, reviewing e-mails, and remotely connecting to their office computers, without ever realizing they should be reimbursed for their phone and data usages, and other expenses. Despite not immediately seeking reimbursement, under California law an employee cannot waive the right to reimbursement, and any contracts purporting to do so are not enforceable. In fact, an employer who has reason to know an employee has incurred work-related expenses must reimburse the employee, even if the employee does not request reimbursement.

While the right to reimbursement is not waivable, if you have not been reimbursed for expenses the law does provide time limits within which you must assert your claim. The law also requires employers to pay interest on previously unreimbursed expenses, and the attorneys’ fees of employees who prevail on their “unreimbursed expense” claims.

If you think you have not been properly reimbursed for your work expenses within the last 4 years and would like to discuss your potential claims and damages, or otherwise have any questions about your rights, please complete the Contact Us form on the right, and a member of our law firm will contact you.