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Patrick, Esq.
Patrick, Esq., Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
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Experience:  Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
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I resigned from my company on June 3, 2013. I had submitted

Customer Question

I resigned from my company on June 3, 2013. I had submitted and my manager approved expenses on about 10 days earlier (with receipts, etc.). Again, my manager approved them. After my exit interview, an EVP at the company said their intent was not to give me an expense account for the months I submitted expense reports, with receipts, that my manager signed and approved. This feels a lot like willfully withholding my money, and retaliation. What do you suggest? Should I file a claim with the Department of Labor? Thank you.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: California Employment Law
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 3 years ago.
Hello and thank you for entrusting me to answer your question. I am very sorry to hear about your trouble obtaiing reimbursement.

Fortunately, the law in this circumstance is highly favorable to employees. Specifically, Labor Code section 2802 requires an employer to "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 . . . ."

The remains true regardless of whether the employee had an approved "expense account" and regardless of whether the employee had approval to make a particular purchase. The Legislature's intent is that employees should not bear losses or expenses incurred in the service of their employers, period.

Ordinarily, the best course of action under the circumstances would be to file a claim with the Department of Labor Standards Enforcement. The DLSE is an administrative agency that regulates the payment of wages and expense reimbursements. They will investigate your claim, and assuming they find the expenses were necessarily incurred in the course of your employment and that the expenses were submitted in accordance with reasonable employer policies (which absolutely appears to be the case), they will issue a judgment requiring your employer to pay you back.

While claimants alleging the untimely payment of an employee's final wages can obtain "waiting time" penalties pursuant to Labor Code 203, there is no corrolary provision for untimely reimbursement of job expenses, so regretfully no penalty will attach to the award. The DLSE may, however, award interest.

To file a wage claim with the DLSE, visit this link:

Please do not hesitate to let me know if you have any questions or concerns regarding the above and I will be more than happy to assist you further.

If you do not require any further assistance, please be so kind as to provide a positive rating of my service so that I may receive credit for assisting you. Very best wishes to you and thank you so much for coming to Just Answer.
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 3 years ago.

Here is an overview of the DLSE complaint process:

Did you have any further questions for me? If so, it would be my pleasure to continue assisting you. If I have answered your question, please take a minute to provide a positive rating of my service, as this is the only way I am credited for my answers.

Very best wishes to you.

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