With some exceptions, yes. There are a lot of jobs out there that require an employee to use his or her own expenses in furtherance of his or her employment and for the benefit of the employer. Work related expenses are any kind of expenses incurred as a direct result of employment. Work related expenses include mileage if the employee’s job requires him or her to drive throughout the day (but not to and from work). Another work related expense would be if the employer requires the employee to have certain equipment in his or her office, such as a particular computer, fax machine, printer, phone, etc. Also, work related expenses include tools and equipment required by the employer in order for the employee to perform or carry out his or her job.
Under California law, an employer must reasonably compensate an employee when the employ spends his or her own funds to buy work related equipment or when the employee uses his or her own car for work travel. If you have used your own money to purchase something related to your work and your employer has not reimbursed you, call our law office for a free consultation.
Labor Code § 2802 is CA’s main law on point:
(a) 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. (b) All awards made by a court or by the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement for reimbursement of necessary expenditures under this section shall carry interest at the same rate as judgments in civil actions. Interest shall accrue from the date on which the employee incurred the necessary expenditure or loss. (c) For purposes of this section, the term "necessary expenditures or losses" shall include all reasonable costs, including, but not limited to, attorney's fees incurred by the employee enforcing the rights granted by this section.