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Unreimbursed Business Expenses for Employees


The California Labor Code requires employers in our state to reimburse employees for reasonable expenses they incurred for business purposes. Employers are not allowed to have employees waive this right to reimbursement via employment contracts or policies.

The law makes it clear that any necessary job expenses should be reimbursed in a timely manner, though many employers fail to comply with this requirement. If you believe that your employer failed to pay you back for qualified business expenses, you should speak with a Walnut Creek labor attorney right away.

Common Expenses

Your business expenses will depend on the nature of your job, and they can vary throughout the course of the year or your career. Some common expenses include:

  • Mileage
  • Parking fees
  • Work cell phone bills
  • Work-related travel costs
  • Office supplies purchased out-of-pocket
  • Uniforms purchased out-of-pocket

With the COVID-19 pandemic, many employees have been working remotely, and it is important for employers to properly reimburse their employees for expenses incurred due to working from home. Some expenses associated with remote work include:

  • Having the necessary hardware and software for your job
  • Using a home phone
  • Increases in electricity use

Not all expenses can be parsed out, such as how much of the electric or internet bill can be attributed to work or regular life at home. In this case, employers and employees should agree to a monthly stipend that is meant to cover all remote work expenses. If expenses exceed this stipend one month, the employee should request additional reimbursement.

Discuss Your Options with a Walnut Creek Labor and Employment Lawyer

If your employer failed to reimburse you for qualified business expenses, the Walnut Creek labor lawyers at Ratner Mollineaux, LLP, are ready to help. Contact us online or call (925) 332-1444 to learn about your legal options for securing the full compensation you deserve.

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