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What are the CA reimbursement requirements for remote workers?

On Behalf of | May 25, 2022 | Employment Law - Employee

Many California employees work remotely. There is a law that requires employers to reimburse employees for business expenditures or losses. It’s important to understand this law.

What is California labor code section 2802?

California Labor Code 2802 is a law that requires California employers to reimburse their employees for all business expenditures or losses they incurred. This applies to everything deemed necessary or reasonable that the employee incurred as part of their jobs and applies to employees who work remotely. While California employees have long been able to work remotely, this law has become especially important because of the circumstances of the past two years.

What reimbursement requests are considered necessary and reasonable?

Per Section 2802, the only expenses California employers are obligated to reimburse remote employees for must be necessary and reasonable as a condition of their continued employment. The specific expenses considered reasonable and necessary depend on the nature of the employee’s job duties.

For example, if a worker is an accountant, it would be considered necessary and reasonable for them to have special accounting software installed on their computer. If the employee shelled out their own money to buy this software, their employer would be required to reimburse them for it.

On the other hand, if the employee bought a new printer but didn’t need it for their job duties, their employer would not have to reimburse them for those expenses. The printer would not be considered necessary and reasonable in terms of the person being able to do their job.

Employers can set a deadline for employees to submit their request for reimbursement of business expenses. This is fair as long as the date is clearly communicated to the employee. For example, to be compliant with California employment law, an employer can issue a handbook specifically covering a section on employee reimbursements to remote workers.

Remote workers are due to receive job-related reimbursements by their employers under Section 2802. If you haven’t received reimbursements, you have a right to bring it up to your employer.