What is a 2802 claim?

Readers of this blog know that we often talk about employee wage claims, including so-called 2802 claims. Indeed, we recently posted on the topic. In this post, we will explore the topic for context.

Reimbursement for employment expenses

If you are an employee in California, you may be entitled to reimbursement for certain expenses that you incur in the course of your work. This is based on a section of the California Labor Code, known as 2802 that states:

“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.”

This means that if your employer requires you to use your own money or resources for work-related purposes, such as buying tools, equipment, uniforms, gas, mileage, phone bills, internet fees, etc., they must pay you back for those costs. This is to ensure that you do not bear the burden of your employer’s business expenses.

When would you need to make a 2802 claim?

You may need to make a 2802 claim if your employer does not have a clear policy or practice of reimbursing you for your work-related expenses, or if they reimburse you less than the actual amount that you spent. For example, if your employer pays you a flat rate for mileage, but does not cover the actual cost of gas and wear and tear on your vehicle, the difference can sometimes be claimed.

You may also need to make a 2802 claim if your employer denies or delays your reimbursement request, or if they retaliate against you for asking for reimbursement. For example, if your employer fires you, demotes you, cuts your hours or gives you a negative performance review because you asked for reimbursement, you may have a 2802 claim.

Why are 2802 claims important?

A 2802 claim is important because they protect your rights as an employee and ensure that you are fairly compensated for your work. They also prevent employers from shifting their business costs onto you to gain an unfair advantage over their competitors.

If you have a valid 2802 claim, you may be able to recover not only the amount of your expenses, but also interest, penalties, attorney fees and other damages. However, making a 2802 claim can be complicated and time-consuming, and you may face resistance or retaliation from your employer.