Mileage reimbursement laws in California


Numerous businesses require employees to drive at some point or another. For some employees, this will only occur sparingly, but for others, it is a regular part of the job. They deserve reimbursement.

The federal government has set guidelines for how much employers should pay for each mile driven. However, the federal government does not enforce this law. Luckily, California has laws on the books stating business owners absolutely must pay workers for any miles driven. At the beginning of 2018, the amount employers needed to pay increased from 53.5 cents per mile to 54.5 cents per mile.

Different methods for reimbursement

California allows for several ways for bosses to pay back their workers for any mileage. Many employers find the simplest method is to adhere to the 54.5 cent model described above. However, they can also use the actual expense method, which requires the employee to log all actual expenses related to any driving and submitting a report to the boss. Many companies avoid using this because it is more time-intensive and tedious.

Finally, employers can provide a lump sum whereby the business owner provides the employee with a monthly allowance on travel-related expenses. The two parties typically agree to the amount before the job begins, so the employee can ensure it is a fair amount.

Steps to take if you receive no reimbursement

Some employees will discover that their bosses have not reimbursed any travel expenses or have paid far less than they legally owe. It is paramount for employees to realize that if this happens to them, then it most likely happens to other people at the company. First, employees should make sure they keep accurate reports for their records. The employee should bring the matter to the attention of the employer, and if the situation remains, then the employee can file a lawsuit. It is possible for workers to recover lost wages, but they need to contact attorneys immediately.

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