California Labor &
Employment Law Blog
Dec 1, 2008

IRS Announces Decrease in Mileage Rate

Topics: New Laws & Legislation

Last week, the IRS announced the standard mileage rates for 2009. Effective January 1, 2009, the standard mileage rate for business miles driven will be55 cents per mile. This is a slight decrease from the current rate of 58.5 cents per mile, which was implemented in response to rising gas prices in the second half of 2008.

As a reminder, it is generally recommended that California employers utilize the IRS mileage rate to reimburse employees who drive in the course of their job duties.California Labor Code section 2802 requires employers to indemnify employees for all expenses necessarily incurred inthe performance of their jobs. California's Department of Labor Standards Enforcement takes the position thatwhere drivingexpenses areinvolved,reimbursement at the IRSstandard mileage rate creates a presumption of compliance with section 2802. Reimbursement at a rate lessthan theIRSstandard rate creates a presumption ofnon-compliance. If faced with a claim forfailure to reimburse expenses, the burden wouldbe on the employer to prove that its mileagereimbursement rateadequately covered all of theemployee's actualcosts of operatinga vehicle for employment purposes.

Employers should review theirmileage reimbursement policies for the newyear to ensure compliance with California law.

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For over 25 years, CDF has distinguished itself as one of the top employment, labor and immigration firms in California, representing employers in single-plaintiff and class action lawsuits and advising employers on related legal compliance and risk avoidance. We cover the state, with five locations from Sacramento to San Diego.

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About the Editor

Robin Largent has a regular presence in California state and federal courts and has been lead defense counsel and appellate counsel for large and small California employers in litigation (and arbitration) ranging from individual discrimination and harassment claims to complex wage and hour representative and class actions. She also leads the firm’s appellate practice, having substantial experience and success handling appeals, writ petitions, and amicus briefs in both state and federal court on issues such as class certification (particularly in the wage and hour arena), manageability and due process concerns associated with class action trials, exempt/non-exempt misclassification issues, meal and rest break compliance, trade secret/unfair competition matters, and the scope of federal court jurisdiction under the Class Action Fairness Act.
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