California Employment Law

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I am a Case Manager for developmentally disabled clients and…

I am a Case...

I am a Case Manager for developmentally disabled clients and am required to travel from each of my clients house within the county and spend 2 to 3-hours with each one. I drive my personal car and am putting anywhere between 70 and 100 miles a day on my car going from client to clients house. I only drive into the office twice a week for a few hours, then am off to a clients house. This is a new position the company has created and I have only worked here for three weeks. The company does not want to pay me mileage. I love my job but all of the driving is costly and many are telling me that I by law, they have to pay me for mileage when I'm driving around all day from client to clients house.

Lawyer's Assistant: Because employment law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?

Monterey, California

Lawyer's Assistant: Is the employment agreement "at will," union, full time or part time?

It's "at will" and full time.

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

No thank you.

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Answered in 15 hours by:
1/20/2018
Patrick, Esq.
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 14,577
Experience: Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
Verified

Hello and thank you for entrusting me to assist you. My name is ***** ***** I will do everything I can to answer your question.

Pursuant to Labor Code 2802, 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..." What this means in practice is that your employer must reimburse you for gas and wear/tear on your car for all the driving you do once you arrive to your first work site for the day, up to when you arrive at your last. Your commute from home to the first work site, and back to home from the last work site, is not reimburseable because this is just regarded as your normal work commute. But again, the miles you put on throughout the day in between your first work site and last would be reimbursable.

Employers can calculate the exact reimbursement obligation in a variety of ways, but the easiest and most widely adopted way is to use the IRS mileage rate, which is 54.5 cents per mile in 2018. Essentially, you keep track of all your miles each pay period and then submit those with your hours at the end of the pay period. You get 54.5 cents per mile as total reimbursement for gas and wear/tear.

Technically it is illegal for your employer to retaliate against you in any manner because you insisted on being reimbursed as per the labor code. However, some employees don't want to ruffle feathers, and in that case, if your employer declines to reimburse, you can keep track of all your miles and then file a wage claim with the DLSE once you leave this employment. In general, you can file such a claim up to 3 years after the reimbursement entitlement accrues. So basically you could wait until 3 years after your first day on this job to present a wage claim for your expenses and could get reimbursed all the way going back to your first day. Again, this is just an option if your employer refuses to reimburse you and you don't want to ruffle feathers by being more aggresive or filing a wage claim while you are employed.

I hope that you find this information helpful. 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 moving forward.

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Ask Your Own California Employment Law Question
Customer reply replied 7 months ago
Thank you so much for your quick response. I just have one more question. Should my employer be paying me for my travel time from client to client house? I usually see 3- clients a day but am only being paid for the hours that I am at each clients house. It’s an average of a 30-minute drive between clients.

Thank you for your reply, and sorry for my delay in getting back to you but I was out for the afternoon.

YES, in addition to reimbursing you for travel costs, you would typically be entitled to compensation at your regular hourly rate for the time you spend traveling between clients. As with reimbursement, you would not be entitled to compensation for travel time to your first client and from your last client back to home--that would be part of your regular commute--but the travel in between would be compensable.

I hope this helps. Again, please feel free to let me know if you have any further concerns. If I have answered your question, I would be very grateful for a positive rating of my service (using the stars at the top of the page) so that I may receive credit for assisting you.
Very best wishes.

Patrick, Esq.
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 14,577
Experience: Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
Verified
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