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Meal reimbursement while on travel status California

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  • Meal reimbursement while on travel status California

    I work for a national organization, I am an exempt employee, and reside in Ca. We are required to travel quite often ( 50-75%). We recently had a change in our travel policy in which our company would no longer reimburse us for lunches while on travel status. Can employer require employees to travel, and not reimberse for the standard 3 meals/day?

    Quote from our new policy:

    Lunch is not a reimbursable expense. Breakfast and dinner allowance is $40 per day combined (this amount includes any gratuities for service). This policy change is not a per diem and receipts continue to be required for meal reimbursement. Any requests for reimbursement above the daily allowance for meals requires the Division VP’s authorization for reimbursement. Meals are reimbursed when an employee is on an out-of-town, overnight trip or away from the employee’ assigned work location for at least (10) hours.

  • #2
    I am not sure that I have a hard answer here, but I can tell you where to look. Download a copy of the CA-DLSE manual and look in the section on Expense Reimbursements. Those are the rules as far as CA is concerned.
    http://www.dir.ca.gov/dlse/Manual-Instructions.htm

    If I remember correctly, I do think that there is a formal rule spelling out the exact number of meals you get per day. On the other hand, I suspect if you filed a wage claim for unpaid lunches, that you would probably win.

    Not everything is hard spelled out, and at the end of the day, the rules are mostly whatever CA-DLSE says they are.

    -----

    Not your question, but your employer is D-U-M-B. They left the door open for wage claims that they will probably lose on. On the other hand, if they just said a maximum of $40/day for all meals, that likely would have been very likely legal, at least as long as they were not requiring you to take clients out to dinner on that.
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
    Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

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