California Employment Law
California Employment Law Questions Answered by Legal Experts
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QUESTION: "Is there a federal mandate for mileage reimbursement or does state law govern this? My Ca. employer reimburses at a rate lower than IRS recommended is that allowed?"
ANSWER: In terms of mandate, this body of jurisprudence involves an interplay of both state and federal law. That is the basic answer to your first question. However, concerning your second question, the answer is "no". In fact, there is a specific statute, namely California Labor Code § 2802, governing reimbursement of such expenses. Unfortunately, this is an area of frequent abuse on the part of employers. So, while there is no "state rate" per se, the California Department of Labor Standards Enforcement does indeed use the Internal Revenue Service mileage reimbursement rates for guidance. Accordingly, you should not hesitate to share your concerns with this agency should your employer refuse to do the right thing.
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I can absolutely understand your confusion. There is a ton of misinformation floating around cyberspace. Perfectly competent lawyers can differ, as well. However, as one who has rather thoroughly studied the policy documents promulgated by the agency and building upon the relevant statutory and regulatory authority), as well as the interpretative case law, I stand by my original answer. Based upon your description, you indeed have ample grounds for filing a complaint seeking financial compensation should you choose to do so.
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