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Is there a federal mandate for mileage reimbursement or does

Resolved 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?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: California Employment Law
Expert:  LawHelpNow replied 4 years ago.

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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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Customer: replied 4 years ago.
You stated the Ca. DOL uses the IRS rate for "guidance" but I have read so many conflicting documents. Some state Ca. law does not mandate the use of the IRS rate. Lawzilla even states "an employer is not required to reimburse their employee at the rate set by the IRS. A lower rate can be used"...very confused!
Expert:  LawHelpNow replied 4 years ago.

Hello again,


Thanks for writing back -- good to hear from you.


You are quite welcome-- my pleasure to be of service.


I will be glad to comment further -- please see below.


I have answered your question on the honor system, so I respectfully XXXXX XXXXX you click "Accept" Many thanks in advance!


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.


Take care and thanks again for choosing JustAnswer®!


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