Can a California company deny reimbursement for mileage and travel expenses?

Asked over 2 years ago - El Cajon, CA

I submitted a mileage and expense report seven days past the company policy deadline and was denied reimbursement of $650. The policy does allow for exceptions to the deadline, but my appeal was also denied because I had no valid reason for missing the deadline.

Attorney answers (2)

  1. Marilynn Mika Spencer

    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyer agrees


    Answered . Labor Code sections 2800 and 2802 require an employer to indemnify an employee for expenses incurred on the job. There are some qualifications to this, however, so someone will need to review the policy and the case law related to these statutes. Because of the low dollar amount involved, I suggest you first try to research this on the Department of Labor Standards and Enforcement web site or perhaps telephone the DLSE for more guidance. If this doesn't help, you may need to speak with an attorney. You may be entitled to reimbursement for attorney's fees.

    To find a plaintiffs employment attorney in California, please go to the web site of the California Employment Lawyers Association (CELA). CELA is the largest and most influential bar association in the state for attorneys who represent working people. The web site is, and you can search for attorneys by location and practice area.

    I've pasted the two statutes below:

    2800. An employer shall in all cases indemnify his employee for
    losses caused by the employer's want of ordinary care.

    2802. (a) 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, or of his or her
    obedience to the directions of the employer, even though unlawful,
    unless the employee, at the time of obeying the directions, believed
    them to be unlawful.
    (b) All awards made by a court or by the Division of Labor
    Standards Enforcement for reimbursement of necessary expenditures
    under this section shall carry interest at the same rate as judgments
    in civil actions. Interest shall accrue from the date on which the
    employee incurred the necessary expenditure or loss.
    (c) For purposes of this section, the term "necessary expenditures
    or losses" shall include all reasonable costs, including, but not
    limited to, attorney's fees incurred by the employee enforcing the
    rights granted by this section.

    *** All legal actions have time limits, called statutes of limitation. If you miss the deadline for filing your... more
  2. Arkady Igor Itkin


    Contributor Level 13

    Answered . Hello,

    Generally not reimbursing an employee for otherwise reimbursable expenses due to an internally set deadline is against the law. You can submit a wage claim through your local Department of Labor Standards Enforcement unit. The process is simple and free. Just google DLSE and look for a link on how to file a wage claim.


    Arkady Itkin

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