Step-by-Step Guide to Being Reimbursed for Reasonable Business Expenses in California
If you incur business expenses while working in California, you may be entitled to
reimbursement from your employer. California law requires employers to reimburse employees
for reasonable business expenses incurred in the course of their employment. In this blog post,
we’ll outline the step-by-step process for being reimbursed for business expenses in California,
including examples of common expenses such as at-home internet expenses and mobile phone
Step 1: Determine if your expenses are reasonable and necessary for your job.
The first step in seeking reimbursement for business expenses is to determine if the expenses
are reasonable and necessary for your job. To be eligible for reimbursement, the expenses must
be directly related to your job duties and not personal in nature. Some examples of common
business expenses that may be eligible for reimbursement include:
At-home internet expenses: If you are required to work from home and use your own internet
service, you may be entitled to reimbursement for the cost of your internet service.
Mobile phone expenses: If you are required to use your own mobile phone for work-related
calls and texts, you may be entitled to reimbursement for the cost of your phone service.
Travel expenses: If you are required to travel for work, you may be entitled to reimbursement
for expenses such as airfare, hotels, and meals.
Step 2: Review your employer’s reimbursement policies.
Once you have determined that your expenses are reasonable and necessary for your job, the
next step is to review your employer’s policies on reimbursement. Your employer should have
written policies outlining how to request reimbursement, what types of expenses are eligible
for reimbursement, and any other relevant information. It’s important to familiarize yourself
with these policies so you know what to expect when you request reimbursement.
Step 3: Gather documentation for your expenses.
To request reimbursement for your business expenses, you’ll need to provide documentation
to support your request. This may include receipts, invoices, or other proof of payment. Be sure
to keep good records of all your business expenses, including the date, amount, and purpose of
Step 4: Request reimbursement from your employer.
If you have incurred business expenses that are eligible for reimbursement, the next step is to
request reimbursement from your employer. You can do this either orally or in writing, but it’s
usually best to put your request in writing. In your request, be sure to specify the amount you
are requesting and provide any supporting documentation, such as receipts or invoices.
Step 5: Consider your employer’s response.
After you have made your request for reimbursement, your employer should respond within a
reasonable time. Your employer may approve your request, deny your request, or ask for
additional information. If your employer denies your request, they must provide you with a
written explanation of their decision and the legal basis for it. If your employer asks for
additional information, you should provide the requested information as soon as possible.
Step 6: Seek legal advice.
If your employer denies your request for reimbursement or you have any other questions or
concerns about the process, it’s important to seek legal advice. An experienced employment
attorney can review the facts of your case and advise you on your rights and options under
California law. They can also help you gather any additional evidence and represent you in legal
proceedings, if necessary.
Step 7: Consider your options for pursuing a claim.
If you believe your employer has unlawfully denied your request for reimbursement, you may
have several options for pursuing a claim. You may be able to file a complaint with the Division
of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE) or you may be able to file a lawsuit in court. Your
attorney can advise you on the best course of action based on the specific circumstances of
Being reimbursed for business expenses in California can be a complex process, but by
following the steps outlined in this blog post, including determining if your expenses are
reasonable and necessary, reviewing your employer’s policies, and seeking legal advice if
necessary, you can protect your rights and ensure that you receive the reimbursement you are