Are you currently employed in a job where driving your personal car, van or truck as part of your daily work required to do your job?
Under California law Labor Code Section 2802, if your employer requires you to drive as part of your job using your own personal vehicle, your employer must reimburse you for work-related costs you incur in the necessary discharge of your duties. Gasoline/mileage is considered a work-related expense that should be reimbursed by the employer. This is not to be confused with general commuting time and expense of driving from your home to your workplace. Such daily commutes to and from work are not generally deemed reimbursable work-related expenses.
How much should I be reimbursed?
California’s Labor Commissioner has stated that the IRS mileage rate is viewed as a reasonable measure of business-related vehicle expenses. If an employee in California can show that their actual expenses are more than the standard mileage rate, the employer will need to pay the difference between the two. In most cases, employers will reimburse an employee based on the IRS guidelines for standard mileage reimbursement. Beginning January 1, 2019 the standard mileage reimbursement for business and work-related driving is .58 cents per mile for business miles driven (an increase from 54.5 cents in 2018).
What other expenses can I be reimbursed for?
Employers in California are also required to reimburse employees for other costs associated with their job, including reimbursing for cell phones and plans, printing, computers and Internet.
Consult with Your Tax Advisor Regarding Possible Mileage Reimbursement Deductions
Depending on your personal circumstances, you should be aware that when an employer reimburses you at less than the IRS suggested guideline rates, you may be able to deduct mileage reimbursements from your gross reported income or the IRS’ standard rate multiplied by the number of miles driven for business purposes, whichever is less. Before assuming such deductions apply, DO consult your tax advisor to see if this sort of deduction applies to your personal circumstances.
By now, you may be wondering if your employer owes you money for mileage reimbursement or other expenses related to the use of your personal vehicle for your work. These are questions of law and fact should be assessed by competent attorneys familiar with labor and employment laws.
Mileage Reimbursement Claim? Contact Us
Whitehead Employment Law is a premier firm with a wealth of legal talent dedicated to labor and employment law. We have settled and tried cases winning millions of dollars in awards for clients whose employers have failed to reimburse employees for work-related expenses. Many of these types of situations are ideal for class action treatment.
In addition to recovering unreimbursed expenses, our class actions allow us to also recover unpaid wages, unpaid overtime and other benefits of employment to which workers are lawfully entitled, in a single class action lawsuit. Individuals who serve as representative plaintiffs in class actions are generally entitled to an enhanced compensation because of their contribution of time and effort, in addition to a share of the settlement proceeds.
If you believe you may have a lawful employment claim for unreimbursed expenses, let’s talk. Contact us at Whitehead Employment Law today at 949-936-4001.