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California Labor Laws and How They Put Your Organization at Risk

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CALIFORNIA LABOR LAWS AND HOW THEY PUT YOUR ORGANIZATION AT RISK California's labor laws are as complex and diverse as the state itself. A significant requirement for employers is California Labor Code Section 2802, which has been broadly interpreted to mean that virtually all expenses incurred by employees in the course of their work must be reimbursed by an employer. They must be reimbursed completely and accurately, or employees can sue for the balance, with interest and fees. Mileage reimbursement is a key area for Section 2802 disputes. Cars don't print out receipts explaining exactly how much a work-related trip costs, so many companies use cents-per-mile or flat allowance reimbursement methods. But these approximations are frustrating for employers and employees alike. Employees want to know that their actual expenses are being covered, while employers want more visibility and control over reimbursements. When expenses aren't tracked and reimbursed accurately, it opens the door to potential problems and litigation costs down the road. And the risk isn't limited just to companies doing business in California. To understand why, we will explain how Section 2802 applies to mileage, how other states already mirror some of the California legal language, and why new rulings may accelerate the spread of similarly stringent reimbursement policies.

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