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California law requires employers to reimburse employees for work-from-home costs

Did you know that California Labor Code Section 2802 requires employers to reimburse employees for any necessary expenses the employees incur while doing their jobs?

That includes expenses you might incur while working from home. In fact, employees throughout California may be owed significant compensation for basic work-from-home expenses.

Where the use of equipment is for both personal and business use, such as a cellphone, and the actual cost of an employee's cellphone use for work cannot be determined -- for example, if an employee has an unlimited minutes/texting plan -- the employer is required to reimburse the employee for a "reasonable percentage" of the personal cellphone bill.

Types of Work-Related Expenses Requiring Reimbursement

Whether you work from home or not, these are the most common types of work-related expenses that employees incur and that employers must reimburse:

  • Costs of working remotely or working from home, including home office equipment, supplies and internet service
  • Work-related use of a personal vehicle (mileage reimbursement)
  • Purchase of a cellphone for work-related use or reimbursement of a reasonable percentage of your personal cellphone bill if your employer requires you to use your personal cellphone for work-related purposes 
  • Time for work-related communications, whether by email, chat, phone or walkie-talkie
  • Purchase and maintenance of work-related uniforms
  • Cost of purchasing other tools or supplies you need to do your job

Section 2802 Covers Legal Expenses

California law also requires employers to cover any legal expenses (attorneys' fees) an employee incurs to enforce the rights granted by Section 2802.

The employer is also required to pay interest at a rate of 10% per year on any unreimursed expenses incurred by the employee.

If you have questions about any of these matters, contact an employment law attorney as soon as possible. With offices in San Diego, the attorneys at GrahamHollis APC protect the rights of workers throughout California.

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