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Employee asked to go to a seminar, now wants mileage reimbursement

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  • Employee asked to go to a seminar, now wants mileage reimbursement

    One of my employee's brought this seminar to my attention and asked if I would pay for him to go. It wasn't cheap but I agreed to pay for it (with company money. I am not the owner of the company, but I do have authority to spend money on things like this)

    Now that the seminar is a couple days away, and it's already bought and paid for, the guy comes around asking what the mileage reimbursement rate is. When I asked him why, he said it's because he's going to charge the mileage to and from the seminar to the company.

    Now I'm a little miffed because I did not force him to go to the seminar, in fact I didn't even recommend it. He brought it to ME and asked me if I would pay for it and let him attend on a work day and because I was being nice I said yes.

    We do have a mileage reimbursement policy, but it assumes that the boss is directing his employees to drive somewhere. It doesn't cover when an employee requests to go somewhere.

    Are there any laws that I would be violating if I refused to pay the mileage reimbursement?


    In case it's relevant, what he's learning at the seminar should, in theory, make him better at his job.

  • #2
    In what state is this? It matters.
    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.

    Comment


    • #3
      Sorry, it's California

      Comment


      • #4
        California Labor Code Section 2802(a) requires reimbursement for work-related use of a personal vehicle. Labor Code Section 2802 states that “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.” Subdivision (c) of Section 2802 defines “necessary expenditures or losses” to include “all reasonable costs.” When an employee is required to use his or her personal vehicle for work-related activities, the employer must reimburse the employee for expenses related to the use of the vehicle. (Note that this does not include use of a personal vehicle to commute between home and work.)
        Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

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        • #5
          DAW is our expert so if he disagrees, go with him. But given that it is work related, and given that it is California, which is one of only two states that ever requires that you pay mileage, I think you're safer paying it than not paying it.
          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.

          Comment


          • #6
            agree and was hoping DAW would comment.

            Here is one article from SHRM that speaks about it also: https://www.shrm.org/templatestools/...dexpenses.aspx

            I have to agree the safest way is to pay it, but tell him next time to add all costs into the request to go so that a better decision can be made knowing the full costs. And take into account what else the employer could possibly owe.

            eta: I think the sticky point is the perspective of "required". You as an employer aren't requiring it, but are paying for it and allowing timeoff for it. and like you said it is to the employer's benefit. So I think an argument could be made, just not sure I'd care to fight it (might depend on the cost, etc)
            Last edited by hr for me; 06-07-2016, 08:44 AM.

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            • #7
              Agreed with the others. Start with the federal hours worked rules, which CA explicitly follows. If we are talking about hours worked under federal and CA law, then it would be difficult for the employer to argue that the 2802 expense reimbursement rules do not apply. Still, the only opinion that actual matters here is CA-DLSE. I just looked at their manual and I am not finding this specific point addressed.

              Lectures, Meetings and Training Programs:

              Attendance at lectures, meetings, training programs and similar activities need not be counted as working time only if (all) four criteria are met, namely: it is outside normal hours, it is voluntary, not job related, and no other work is concurrently performed.
              Last edited by DAW; 06-07-2016, 09:56 AM.
              "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
              Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

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              • #8
                Originally posted by DAW View Post
                Agreed with the others. Start with the federal hours worked rules, which CA explicitly follows. If we are talking about hours worked under federal and CA law, then it would be difficult for the employer to argue that the 2802 expense reimbursement rules do not apply. Still, the only opinion that actual matters here is CA-DLSE. I just looked at their manual and I am not finding this specific point addressed.

                Lectures, Meetings and Training Programs:

                Attendance at lectures, meetings, training programs and similar activities need not be counted as working time only if (all) four criteria are met, namely: it is outside normal hours, it is voluntary, not job related, and no other work is concurrently performed.
                Thank you. It is voluntary but it is during work hours, so right there it's already not meeting all four criteria. Looks like I have to pay it.

                But like hr for me said, I should talk to the person about how next time they ask for something they need to provide the entire cost up front so I can make an informed decision.

                Comment

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