Unreimbursed Business Expenses

Generally, employers must indemnify employees for all necessary expenditures or losses incurred by the employee in direct consequence of the discharge of duties.

An employer that requires employees to wear uniforms must provide and maintain the uniforms.  But the question is often:  what qualifies as a “uniform?” 

Tools And Equipment
An employer must provide and maintain tools and equipment required for the performance of a job.  The only exception is for hand tools and equipment customarily required by the trade or craft; an employer can require an employee to provide and maintain such tools and equipment, but only if the employee is paid at least double the minimum wage. Additionally, certain tools and equipment used in beauty salons and barbershops are the employee’s responsibility.  An employee may be required, as a condition of employment, to furnish his or her own vehicle to be used in the course of employment, but the employer must reimburse the employee for the use of the employee’s vehicle.  The same holds true for other tools and equipment, such as cell phones, laptops, etc.

Shortage, Breakage Or Losses
An employer may not require an employee to reimburse it for any cash shortage, breakage, or loss of equipment unless it is cause by the employee’s dishonesty, willful act, or gross negligence. 

Wage and hour laws are very technical.  An employer can suffer severe consequences as a result of a well-intentioned, but illegal, policy or practice.  Please contact us for a FREE initial consultation.  As experienced labor attorneys, we can help.


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