Employers must provide reimbursement to their employees “for all necessary expenditures or losses incurred…in direct consequence of the discharge of [their] duties…” (Labor Code Section 2802). This would include reimbursing employee’s for the business use of their personal vehicles. The amount that an employer reimburses the employee can be based upon the published IRS Mileage Rate.

On January 1, 2023, the IRS mileage reimbursement rate was increased to 65.5 cents per mile.   According to the IRS, this rate applies “to electric and hybrid-electric automobiles, as well as gasoline and diesel-powered vehicles” and was calculated “based on an annual study of the fixed and variable costs of operating an automobile.”

While the IRS mileage rate is deemed reasonable by the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE), this is not the only permissible way to reimburse vehicle-related business expenses in California, as long as employees are being fully reimbursed for their expenses.

An employer’s failure to reimburse any business expenses incurred can give rise to lawsuits which may result in significant penalties and attorneys’ fees.


California enacted a new law, effective January 1, 2023, which prohibits employers from taking or threatening retaliatory action against an employee who leaves or refuses to report to a workplace during an “emergency condition” if the employee has a reasonable belief that the workplace or worksite is unsafe. (SB 1044)

When feasible, an employee must notify the employer of the emergency condition requiring the employee to leave or refuse to report to the workplace or worksite prior to leaving or refusing to report, or if not feasible, as soon as possible. Notably, “emergency condition” is defined as:

  • conditions of disaster or extreme peril to the safety of persons or property at the workplace or worksite caused by natural forces or a criminal act; and
  • an order to evacuate a workplace, a worksite, a worker’s home or the school of a worker’s child due to natural disaster or a criminal act.

An “emergency condition” does not include a health pandemic.

Certain workers, including first responders, disaster service workers, employees of licensed residential care facilities, employees or contractors who support patient care during emergencies or who are required to participate in emergency response and employees working on a military base, are not protected under this new law.


The Federal laws pertaining to discrimination in the workplace governs employers with 15 or more employees. In addition, covered employers regulated by the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) are those employers with 20 or more employees.

For these covered employers, the EEOC recently released a new version of its required workplace poster “Know Your Rights: Workplace Discrimination is Illegal”. This poster replaces the current mandatory poster, “EEO is the Law.”

While no deadline for replacing the new poster has been published, employers should replace the posters as soon as possible, along with updating other posters for 2023.

As with all postings, this poster should be placed in a conspicuous location in the workplace where employees can easily access it. The EEOC also encourages employers to post this notice electronically or send to each employee via email for those employees working remotely and employees who do not regularly visit a physical worksite.

The poster can be found here:


In recent years, with the increase in wage and hour litigation, employers have taken advantage of new technology to monitor their employees’ activities – this includes the use of vehicle tracking software such as GPS.  This increase in monitoring in employees’ activities has led also to increased privacy concerns by the employees.  This would be especially true when employees are permitted to take a business vehicle home and use it during off-work hours.

In an effort to manage both the employers needs to monitor its employees in balance with an employee’s concerns of invasion of privacy, a new law has been passed which, effective January 1, 2023, will prohibit an employer from using an alternative device equipped with tracking technology to monitor employees, except to use an alternative device to locate, track, watch, listen to, or otherwise surveil an employee during work hours if strictly necessary for the performance of the employee’s duties.

Before this tracking can occur, an employer or a person acting on behalf of the employer must provide an employee with a notice stating that monitoring will occur and may not retaliate against an employee for removing or disabling an alternative device’s monitoring capabilities, including vehicle location technology, outside of work hours. (AB 984)

This Newsletter is intended as a brief summary of employment law. While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained herein, it is not intended to serve as “legal advice,” or to establish an attorney-client relationship. If additional information is needed on any of the topics contained herein, please contact our office. All rights reserved. ©2023.

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