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forced auto allowance or un-employment

Resolved Question:

I currently work for Coca-Cola refreshment who bought out Coca-Cola Enterprises. Obviously as with any merger of large companies there are many changes. The one that has me concerned is their new auto allowance policy. In this policy we are being required to buy a car that is no older than five years old. We can keep that car until it is 7 years old but then must buy a new car again. If we do not comply with this policy we were told we would have to apply for a non-driving position implying that we would loose or jobs. If there was not one available. We are not allowed to use mileage reimbursement if we drive over 6000 miles per year. Several of us drive 35k-45k per year and buying a new car every five years hardly makes sense and seems to obligate me to a rather large car payment even if they had layoffs or I want to get another job I still have an unwanted asset purchased with my money. Not to mention on what terms would they actually be able to terminate us. " Not spending our money on what they want us to when they tell us to " just so they can receive a larger tax benefit by not paying the fully tax deductible mileage re-reimbursement. How can I/we stop them.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: California Employment Law
Expert:  richarmw replied 3 years ago.
Hello.

Thanks for contacting us. This is frustrating position -- and you are wise to raise the issue.

If someone is an employee (and not an independent contractor -- as some outside sales are, essentially agents selling on a commission), then California Law (unlike the laws in other states or Federal law) states:

California Labor Code Section 2802

2802. (a) An employer shall indemnify his or her employee 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, even though unlawful, unless the employee, at the time of obeying the directions, believed them to be unlawful. (b) All awards made by a court or by the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement for reimbursement of necessary expenditures under this section shall carry interest at the same rate as judgments in civil actions. Interest shall accrue from the date on which the employee incurred the necessary expenditure or loss. (c) For purposes of this section, the term "necessary expenditures or losses" shall include all reasonable costs, including, but not limited to, attorney's fees incurred by the employee enforcing the rights granted by this section.

You may wish to contact your local California Division of Industrial Relations office to discuss the matter and make a decision if a complaint is warranted and how to proceed.

http://www.dir.ca.gov/dlse/DistrictOffices.htm

I wish you speedy resolution of this matter.
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