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I am a California resident and work for a Florida corporation.

My job is 100% travel...
I am a California resident and work for a Florida corporation. My job is 100% travel. I have been having trouble getting reimbursed for my expenses since January. I have been submitting expense reports all along but with excuse after excuse, they say that a receipt is missing or I filled out the form wrong. I make the corrections, find the missing receipts, etc. Regardless, it has been six months and I have not been reimbursed a single penny. They now owe me over $12,000! My credits cards are maxed and my credit is being adversely affected. I fear termination if I make too much of a fuss. Not sure what to do or what my rights are in Florida. Advice please?
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Answered in 23 minutes by:
8/23/2013
Dimitry K., Esq.
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 41,221
Experience: Multiple jurisdictions, specialize in business/contract disputes, estate creation and administration.
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Thank you for your question. Please permit me to assist you with your concerns.

If I may ask, in what state are you based out of? Which state is your base of operations--I ask to figure out which law would govern this, thank you!
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Customer reply replied 4 years ago


I am a California resident but the company is a Florida corporation. I don't really have a "base of operations" because I travel all the time. I report to the company in Florida but I live in California

Sean,

Thank you for your follow-up. I am trying to figure which state would govern disputes. Do you travel mostly in California or in other states?
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Customer reply replied 4 years ago


Mostly in other states. For example, currently I travel between Arizona and Hawaii. Today I am in Chicago. Last week I was in Las Vegas.

Sean,

Final question (I swear). In terms of tax withholding, I am assuming that tax wise you are withheld based on California taxes, correct? If yes, then you are likely governed under California law even if the employer is in Florida. Other than you, do they have any other presence outside Florida, such as offices in California?
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Customer reply replied 4 years ago


Yes, we are subject to California tax withholding. No offices in California or anywhere outside of Florida

Sean,

That does help. Regardless of where they are domiciled, if you are physically working for them out of California, then you are subject to California laws (as are they). You have the ability to contact the California Department of Industrial Relations (CDIR) and file a claim for 'unpaid wages'--while this is not clearly a wage, if the withholding is being done without cause, you can claim that it is a wage and have the agency evaluate your argument. In addition you alway have the ability to take them to small claims or higher courts for the value they still owe you. The issue here is how much you can sue for, since small claims in California only go up to $10,000. If you need to sue for more, which you obviously do, you would need to go to a higher court. The issue with going through CDIR is that it may be a drawn out process, but going to court may get you in front of th judge within 2-3 months, at least via small claims.

Good luck.

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Customer reply replied 4 years ago


Can you please tell me which codes and sections or case law apply? I wish to actually write them a demand letter before I start a litigation process and see if I can simply light a fire under them but I would like to sound like I know what I'm talking about first.


 


Also, is there a labor department in Florida that oversees businesses' labor practices there as well?

Sean,

There is indeed a Florida department that does the same, or similar work. Please look to the link below:

http://www.stateofflorida.com/Portal/DesktopDefault.aspx?tabid=10

I believe this Code may help:
204. (a) All wages, other than those mentioned in Section 201, 201.3, 202, 204.1, or 204.2, earned by any person in any employment are due and payable twice during each calendar month, on days designated in advance by the employer as the regular paydays. Labor performed between the 1st and 15th days, inclusive, of any calendar month shall be paid for between the 16th and the 26th day of the month during which the labor was performed, and labor performed between the 16th and the last day, inclusive, of any calendar month, shall be paid for between the 1st and 10th day of the following month. However, salaries of executive, administrative, and professional employees of employers covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act, as set forth pursuant to Section 13(a)(1) of the Fair Labor Standards Act, as amended through March 1, 1969, in Part 541 of Title 29 of the Code of Federal Regulations, as that part now reads or may be amended to read at any time hereafter, may be paid once a month on or before the 26th day of the month during which the labor was performed if the entire month's salaries, including the unearned portion between the date of payment and the last day of the month, are paid at that time. (b) (1) Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, all wages earned for labor in excess of the normal work period shall be paid no later than the payday for the next regular payroll period. (2) An employer is in compliance with the requirements of subdivision (a) of Section 226 relating to total hours worked by the employee, if hours worked in excess of the normal work period during the current pay period are itemized as corrections on the paystub for the next regular pay period. Any corrections set out in a subsequently issued paystub shall state the inclusive dates of the pay period for which the employer is correcting its initial report of hours worked. (c) However, when employees are covered by a collective bargaining agreement that provides different pay arrangements, those arrangements shall apply to the covered employees. (d) The requirements of this section shall be deemed satisfied by the payment of wages for weekly, biweekly, or semimonthly payroll if the wages are paid not more than seven calendar days following the close of the payroll period.

Here is the link to the whole code section:


http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/displaycode?section=lab&group=00001-01000&file=200-243

Good luck.

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Customer reply replied 4 years ago

How does what you quoted me above have anything to do with expense reimbursement? It talks about getting paid regular wages and salaries?

Sean,

I believe I stated above that reimbursements and wages are different, and I also stated that this is not 'clearly a wage'. But I also stated that you can claim it as a wage by claiming that it is part of your regular compensation. That is how you can attempt to have the law cover it. Otherwise this isn't an employment law concern but is a pure contractual violation, specifically for breach of contract over failing to reimburse, something the state agencies would not be as likely to help you with. There is no law in Florida or California that expressly states that you have to be covered for reimbursements, since that is always at the discretion of the employer and is based on conditions, but if you claim it as a wage, then you could have additional protections, potentially.

Good luck.

Dimitry K., Esq.
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 41,221
Experience: Multiple jurisdictions, specialize in business/contract disputes, estate creation and administration.
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