California employees must be reimbursed for their employment related expenses.
Law Review and Frequently Asked Questions
An Employee Cannot Agree to Waive the Right to be Reimbursed
Labor Code § 2804 precludes any contract or agreement by which any employee agrees to waive the right to be reimbursed for all of their expenses.
When Must Expenses be Paid?
The California Labor Code does not require that owed expenses be paid immediately upon termination, as is the situation for owed wages. Owed expenses for terminated employees should be paid on reasonable time-schedule, which typically is when the expenses would be paid if the employment relationship had continued, such as the next pay day.
Sexual Misconduct is Outside Scope of Employment
Sexual misconduct falls outside the course and scope of employment. (Lisa M. v. Henry Mayo Newhall
Memorial Hospital (1995) 12 Cal.4th 291 [hospital not liable for
sexual battery on patient by technician]; Jeffrey E. v. Central Baptist Church (1988) 197
Cal.App.3d 718 [church not liable for child molesting by Sunday
school teacher]; Alma W. v. Oakland Unified School Dist., supra, 123 Cal.App.3d 133,
140-142 [school district not liable for rape of student by janitor].)
In line with that authority, the California Supreme Court has held that an employer has
no obligation to indemnify a sexual harasser, even though the acts occurred during
work hours on the employer's premises. (Farmers Ins. Group, supra, 11 Cal.4th 992)
Hand Tools and Equipment
IWC Orders allow an employer to require that employees furnish "hand tools and equipment" if the hand tools and equipment are "customarily
required by the trade or craft". The term "hand tools and equipment" is to be read narrowly and is limited to "hand
(as opposed to power) tools and personal equipment, such as tool belts or tool boxes,
that are needed by the employee to secure those hand tools. Moreover, such hand tools
and equipment must be customarily required in a recognized trade or craft."
Attorney's Fees are Recoverable to Enforce the Employee's Rights
Labor Code § 2802(c) requires the employer to pay the employee's attorney's fees incurred in enforcing the right to be reimbursed for expenses.
More Information is Available with a Premium Subscription
The tests and analysis as to when an employee's expenses must be reimbursed
Text of California's statutes
Opinion Letters from the Department of Labor Standards Enforcement
When an employer must pay for an employee to have a bank account
When an employer must pay for an employee's insurance
When an employer must pay for an employee's training or to become licensed
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