Results 1 to 4 of 4

Thread: California - Is it legal to not pay for meals while traveling?

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Posts
    2

    Angry California - Is it legal to not pay for meals while traveling?

    I work for a large CA based company that is going through some belt-tightening. I'm OK with that, but the email received today (2/10) had me questioning things. I am cutting and pasting the new guidelines.

    For planned day business travel to a location beyond your normal work place, bring or pay for your own breakfast, lunch and coffee breaks.
    For planned overnight business travel, bring or pay for your own breakfast, lunch, and coffee breaks. It is OK to expense dinner.

    Is this legal to do by California's Per Diem Laws? If there is a direct reference to those laws I would appreciate it. TIA

    The other kicker was the line that "the new guidelines below are effective January 12 , going forward" and we were notified of this change on 2/10. I now have a month of expenses for meals that I have to back out and pay for out of pocket. My total will be $116.90 out of pocket, but it's the principle of the retroactive enforcement is what galls me.

    Going forward looks like I have to pack my meals. Hope I can keep an ice chest cold enough to avoid food poisoning. Enforced lodging requirements is a place that does not have refrigerators in the rooms. :-\


    TIA for any insight and comments. No one is happy with this, and oddly, it only seems to be in my one group and not across the board for all if IT or other departments. Double Grrr on the unfairness.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    38,380

    Default

    I am unaware of any law in any state that requires an employer to pay for your meals while you are traveling. After all, if you weren't traveling you'd still have to eat.

    If I am mistaken, DAW or hr for me will be able to say so.
    The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    California
    Posts
    12,726

    Default

    Maybe complicated. CLC 2802 requires employers to reimburse employees for all "necessary" business expense. "Necessary" business expenses means whatever CA-DLSE says they do. There is no CA Per Diem rule per se and the IRS rule does not say what most people try to suggest it says. IF CA-DLSE says that the employer is required to reimburse these expenses (which has not yet happened), then the employer can either use actual expense reimbursement or use the IRS Per Diem method. But no employer is ever required to use the Per Diem method (unless contract says otherwise).

    Contact CA-DLSE and see what they have to say. Or file a wage claim.

    And CA is the only state in the country with these sort of rules. The feds have rules that unreimbursed business expenses cannot impact minimum wage or overtime.
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
    Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

  4. #4
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Posts
    2

    Default

    Thank you both for your input. That was what I was afraid of. :-\

Similar Threads

  1. Meals and Breaks California
    By CaliforniaLaborLaw in forum Labor Laws
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 09-13-2008, 01:26 PM
  2. Punch In/Out Meals California
    By BJD in forum California Labor Laws
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 01-11-2008, 04:08 AM
  3. Meals/lodging question California
    By Hollister in forum Labor Laws
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 09-24-2007, 06:59 AM
  4. Meals paid when traveling for business in CA?
    By loriaf in forum California Labor Laws
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 04-19-2006, 06:46 PM
  5. California rest Periods and Meals
    By lopez101 in forum California Labor Laws
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 01-27-2006, 06:10 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •