2201 - Travel and Relocation Policy

Category

Travel/Relocation

Audience List

  • Accounting Officers
  • Budget Officers
  • Claims Coordinators
  • Employee Benefits Officers
  • Labor Relations Officers
  • Personnel Officers
  • Personnel Transactions Staff
  • Travel and Relocation Liaisons

Synopsis

This policy:

  • Provides general information about the Travel and Relocation Programs.

Introduction

State employees may be eligible for the reimbursement of authorized out-of-pocket expenses that are reasonably, actually, and necessarily incurred as a result of:

  • Conducting state business.
  • Reimbursing certain out-of-pocket moving costs (in the event of an authorized employee move or relocation to another headquarters location).

For bargaining units (BUs) with an existing Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), if the MOU contains state business, travel and relocation language that is in conflict with this policy, the MOU language shall be controlling.

Statement

Eligibility Criteria

All excluded and represented employees may be eligible for reimbursement of the following authorized out-of-pocket expenses:

  • Business expenses
  • Out-of-pocket relocation expenses

Business and Travel Policy

For BUs with an existing MOU, if the MOU contains state business, travel and relocation language that is in conflict with this policy, the MOU language shall be controlling.

Each state agency shall determine the necessity for and the mode of travel to be reimbursed. In accordance with CalHR policy, reimbursement shall be for actual, necessary, and appropriate business and travel expenses incurred fifty (50) miles or more from home and headquarters. Lodging and/or meals included in hotel expenses, conference and registration fees, transportation costs such as airline tickets, or otherwise provided shall not be claimed for reimbursement. Employees who are unable to consume meal(s) provided by the state as noted above due to time constraints or other considerations, such as reasonable accommodation, may be reimbursed in accordance with the rates established in policy, provided an alternate meal was purchased. Snacks and continental breakfasts such as rolls, juice, and coffee are not considered to be meals.

When employees are required to obtain lodging due to state business, reimbursement will be for actual receipted lodging plus applicable mandatory taxes and fees, in accordance with policy and the published lodging maximums. Employees shall only use commercial lodging establishments such as hotels, motels, bed and breakfast inns, public campgrounds, or short-term rentals (such as Airbnb) that cater to the general public. Lodging will not be reimbursed without a valid receipt.

Reimbursement of lodging expenses in excess of specified amounts, excluding taxes, requires advance written approval from CalHR. CalHR may delegate approval authority to departmental Appointing Powers or increase the lodging maximum rate for the geographical area and period of time deemed necessary to meet the needs of the state. Employee may not claim lodging, meal, or incidental expenses within 50 miles of his/her home or headquarters.

Airline Rewards Credits 

State employees shall not receive reimbursement for using airline rewards credits (credits, points, etc.) while conducting approved state business. Airline rewards credits do not translate to a cash value to be reimbursed by the state.

Hotel Rewards Credits 

State employees shall not receive reimbursement for using hotel rewards credits (credits, points, etc.) while conducting approved state business. Hotel rewards credits do not translate to a cash value to be reimbursed by the state.

Alcoholic Beverages

State employees shall not receive reimbursement for purchasing alcoholic beverages while conducting approved state business.

Accountable Plan

Reimbursements for actual business expenses are made in accordance with Internal Revenue Service (IRS) requirements.  The rules for an "Accountable Plan” limit reimbursement to business-related expenses substantiated by receipts or other verification.  Any excess reimbursements made to the employee must be returned to the employer in a timely manner.

Headquarters Determinations for Members of Statutorily Established Boards and Commissions for Travel Expense Purposes

For BUs with an existing MOU, if the MOU contains state business, travel and relocation language that is in conflict with this policy, the MOU language shall be controlling.

Headquarters for persons appointed to statutorily established boards and commissions shall be determined as noted below.  Any exception to the establishment of headquarters as stated in bullet point three (board or commission member) must be approved by CalHR. Additional information about Headquarters may be found in the State Administrative Manual, Section 0700.

  • Definition of Headquarters.  The following definition of headquarters appears in CalHR Regulation 599.616(a): "Headquarters shall be established for each state officer and employee and shall be defined as the place where the officer or employee spends the largest portion of his/her regular workdays or working time, or the place to which he/she returns on completion of special assignments, or as the Department may define in special situations."
  • Headquarters set by law.  When a statute stipulates a specific headquarters location, that location is considered headquarters set by law.  Examples are Public Utilities Commission and Agricultural Associations.  It is not necessary to establish headquarters for anyone serving on any board or commission where the headquarters is set by law.
  • Board or commission member.  The designated headquarters of each member of a full-time board or commission shall be Sacramento, except as otherwise provided by law, or in those cases in which a member is required to work in various locations throughout the state. A member who is required to work in various locations throughout the state may be headquartered in his or her city of residence if such designation is in the best interest of the state as determined by CalHR. While no member shall be required to reside in Sacramento, only a member whose headquarters has been properly designated outside Sacramento shall be reimbursed for transportation expenses and per diem in connection with travel to the headquarters office of the board or commission.
  • Dual Headquarters.  Occasionally there may be a need to establish a "dual" headquarters, for example, an elected official also serving on a board or commission. In this situation, the department would establish "temporary" headquarters for the board or commission.
  • Oath of Office.  For those appointments which require that an Oath of Office be on file, the State Controller’s Office (SCO) will return any travel claims for any employee who does not have both headquarters established and the Oath of Office filed.

Headquarters can be established retroactively for purposes of travel reimbursements; however, SCO will reject any claim incurred prior to the Oath of Office date even if headquarters has been established.  Questions regarding the Oath of Office should be directed to the Secretary of State's Office.

Travel Expenses for Non-State Employees

For BUs with an existing MOU, if the MOU contains state business, travel and relocation language that is in conflict with this policy, the MOU language shall be controlling.

Use the following guidelines to determine the documents needed and the proper reimbursement rates for travel expenses incurred by board and commission members, volunteers, consultants and attendants to people with disabilities.

  • Statutory Board Members are individuals appointed to serve on boards or commissions established by law .
    • Members are appointed by the Governor, Legislature or Department Head. Headquarters for these board members are established by the appointing authority and a copy sent to the State Controller's Office . An Oath of Office must be on file with the Secretary of State. Reimbursement for necessary travel expenses is based on the rates for nonrepresented employees.
  • Non-Statutory Board Members are individuals appointed to serve on boards, commissions or task forces that are created by agency secretaries, department directors, or executive officers on an as-needed basis to fulfill the department's mission.
    • Headquarters for these board members are established by the appointing authority. An Oath of Allegiance is required and both the oath and headquarters records are kept on file at the department. Reimbursement for necessary travel expenses is based on the rates for nonrepresented employees.
  • Salaried Consultants are individuals who have a written contract with the state to perform specific duties or consultants with a verbal agreement with a department to provide one-time services in exchange for an honorarium or speaker's fee plus travel expenses.
    • Headquarters for the salaried consultant is established by the department and an Oath of Allegiance is not required. The reimbursement of necessary travel expenses for salaried consultants under contract shall be stated in the contract but shall not exceed the rates established for nonrepresented employees. Salaried consultants under verbal contract will be reimbursed for necessary travel expenses based on the rates for nonrepresented employees.
  • Non-Salaried Consultants are individuals serving as experts in specialized areas who receive no salary.
    • Since their expertise is only needed for limited periods, a written contract may not be required. Headquarters is established and kept on file with the appointing authority. An Oath of Allegiance or statement of volunteerism is not required. Non-salaried consultants are eligible for necessary travel expenses based on the rates for nonrepresented employees. The non-salaried consultant's travel expense claim should indicate the consultant's non-salaried status.
  • Civil Service Consultants are individuals hired by the state to perform the duties of a consultant and have civil service status.
    • Headquarters for consultants are established by the appointing authority. The reimbursement of necessary travel expenses will be based on the rates for nonrepresented employees.
  • Volunteers are individuals who voluntarily perform services for the state without pay.
    • The volunteer must sign an Oath of Allegiance, which is kept on file at the department. Headquarters for volunteers is established by the appointing authority. A statement of volunteerism must be on file with the Audit Division of the State Controller's Office. The statement of volunteerism contains departmental policy regarding the intended use of volunteers and the method of reimbursement of necessary travel expenses. Volunteers will be reimbursed for necessary travel expenses based on rates for nonrepresented employees.
  • Attendants for employees with disabilities are individuals who are readers, interpreters, drivers or attendants to employees with disabilities.
    • If no one is available on the state's Support Services Assistant, General or Interpreter lists, then employees with disabilities can make arrangements for the services required with a person of their own choice, with prior approval of the departmental Personnel Officer. Attendants are entitled to travel expenses equal to the rates allowed to employees with disabilities. Reimbursement for travel expenses for attendants may be claimed on a travel expense claim which references the services provided and the name of the employee with disabilities. Other methods of reimbursement of travel expenses for attendants may be determined by the department.

Verification of Travel Expenses

For BUs with an existing MOU, if the MOU contains state business, travel and relocation language that is in conflict with this policy, the MOU language shall be controlling.

On or about November 21, 2011, consistent with Executive Order (EO) B-12-11, which among other things, rescinded EO’s S-08-09 and S-20-09, CalHR abolished the requirement that Agency Secretaries, Undersecretaries, and Directors post their Travel Expense Claims (TEC) on the Reporting Transparency in Government website.

The following requirements regarding the verification of travel expenses remain in effect:

  • Official Travel Status (50 miles or more from home or Headquarters)
    • All business travel that results in any cost (airfare, rental car, meals, hotel, etc.) to the state must be supported by a TEC (STD 262 – Travel Expense Claim Form or a CalATERS – California Automated Travel Expense Reimbursement System form).
    • All business travel that is paid for by the state via a transportation contract (e.g. car rental contract, airline contract) shall also be documented on a TEC. The TEC shall note the method of transportation but not a cost as the employee does not incur an out-of-pocket expense.
    • Any state business travel that is paid by a non-state entity or benefactor must be documented and approved in advance by the appointing authority or designee and must be reconciled by filing a TEC.
  • Expenses incurred within 50 miles of an employee’s home/headquarters must be substantiated and approved according to current state and departmental reimbursement policy.

Employees are reminded that all travel on official state business must be authorized in advance by their supervisor or appropriate hiring authority. It is the employee’s responsibility to submit a TEC to substantiate travel expenses in a timely manner.

CalHR may establish additional travel policies and procedures for the verification of travel expenses in the future as necessary.

Method of Travel

For BUs with an existing MOU, if the MOU contains state business, travel and relocation language that is in conflict with this policy, the MOU language shall be controlling.

  • Each state agency is responsible for determining the need for and the method of travel.
  • Reimbursement for travel is governed by the terms of the applicable Memoranda of Understanding, the applicable Government Code sections, and CalHR Rules.
  • Reimbursement for transportation expenses will be based on the method of transportation that is in the best interest of the state, considering both direct expense and the employee's time.
  • If an employee chooses and is authorized to use a method of transportation that is not the least costly, not the typical method of getting from one location to the other, or not “in the best interest of the state,” then a cost comparison shall be prepared and the employee shall be reimbursed only the amount that would have been reimbursed had the employee traveled using the least costly method.

Shared Bicycle Services

In accordance with existing policy, state employees may receive reimbursement for using shared bicycle services while conducting approved state business if they:

  • Ride a bicycle (as defined in Vehicle Code [VEH] section 231) from a shared bicycle service
  • Ride a Class 1 or Class 2 electric bicycle (as defined in VEH section 312.5) from a shared bicycle service

A JUMP electric bicycle is an example of a Class 1 electric bicycle. 

CalHR strongly encourages employees to wear helmets.

Shared Electric Scooter Services

In accordance with existing policy, state employees may receive reimbursement for using shared scooter services while conducting approved state business if they:

  • Ride a motorized scooter (as defined in VEH section 407.5)  

JUMP electric scooters and Lyft electric scooters are examples of motorized scooters. 

CalHR strongly encourages employees to wear helmets.

Lodging Reimbursement Policy

For BUs with an existing MOU, if the MOU contains state business, travel and relocation language that is in conflict with this policy, the MOU language shall be controlling.

When employees are required to obtain lodging due to state business, reimbursement will be for actual receipted lodging plus applicable mandatory taxes and fees, in accordance with policy and the published lodging maximums.

Reimbursement of lodging expenses in excess of specified amounts, excluding taxes, requires advance written approval from CalHR. CalHR may delegate approval authority to departmental Appointing Powers or increase the lodging maximum rate for the geographical area and period of time deemed necessary to meet the needs of the state. Employees may not claim lodging, meal, or incidental expenses within 50 miles of his/her home or headquarters.

Short-Term Lodging

For BUs with an existing MOU, if the MOU contains state business, travel and relocation language that is in conflict with this policy, the MOU language shall be controlling.

  • Employees who incur approved overnight lodging expenses may be reimbursed.
  • Employees must stay at a moderately priced lodging establishment catering to short-term public travelers, such as a hotel, motel, bed and breakfast, public campground, short-term rental (such as Airbnb), etc.
  • Employees must provide valid receipts to claim reimbursement; no reimbursement will be paid without a valid receipt. Valid receipts are receipts that meet the IRS “Accountable Plan” requirements.
  • DGS Management Memo 14-03 – State Travel Booking Through CalTravelStore or Concur Travel is the most current policy regarding booking travel. All Executive Branch agencies as well as those agencies that typically follow DGS’ guidance relative to travel contracts should be booking all travel through Concur.

Short-Term Lodging Reimbursement Rates

Maximum Lodging Reimbursement Rates for All Represented Employees and All Excluded Employees

The Travel Reimbursements page lists the current state rates for all excluded and represented employees.

Excess Lodging Rate Requests

If the base (nightly) room rate exceeds the current state rate, then an Excess Lodging Rate Approval Request (STD 255C) must be submitted by the employee and approved by the employee’s department and, if required, by the California Department of Human Resources (CalHR), before the trip takes place.

The state determines the necessity for and the mode of travel for employees traveling on official state business. In order to secure lodging that is in the best interest of the state, employees should submit their Excess Lodging Rate Requests for the least expensive moderately priced lodging which is within a reasonable distance of their state business.

As noted on the STD 255C, Excess Lodging Rate Requests must include three “good faith” quotes (such as Concur printouts) for the requested travel dates and justification for the lodging rate requested. If an employee submits an Excess Lodging Rate Request for a hotel other than the least expensive moderately priced hotel, he/she will need to include justification for why a more expensive hotel is in the best interest of the state.

Please note that departments should have documentation on file for employees whose justifications for their Excess Lodging Rate Requests cite reasonable accommodations. For additional information regarding reasonable accommodations, please contact your department’s Reasonable Accommodation Coordinator and/or review CalHR’s Disability Services page and/or HR Manual section 1001 - Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Officer Role.

Delegation of Authority to Departments to Approve Certain Excess Lodging Rate Requests

State employees who are required to travel for official state business must submit Excess Lodging Rate Requests for advance approval of lodging rates that exceed the state’s maximum lodging reimbursement rates. On December 19, 2013, PML 2013-044 delegated authority to departments to make determinations regarding Excess Lodging Rate Requests up to $150 per night. All Excess Lodging Rate Requests for amounts above the delegated amount of $150 per night required advance approval from CalHR.

Effective March 7, 2018, CalHR delegates authority to departments to make determinations regarding Excess Lodging Rate Requests up to $250 per night.

Excess Lodging Rate Requests are required if the requested lodging rate is more than the state rate. As noted above, CalHR’s Travel Reimbursements page lists the current state rates for all excluded and all represented employees.  All Excess Lodging Rate Requests for amounts above the delegated amount of $250 per night will continue to require CalHR approval in advance. Departments should continue to follow their current processes for completing and submitting Excess Lodging Rate Requests to CalHR.

Annual Submission of Excess Lodging Rate Reports from Departments to CalHR

Departments shall continue to submit annual reports to CalHR documenting the Excess Lodging Rate Requests approved pursuant to this delegation.

AB 229 Travel Reimbursement (Transportation Network Company or Short-Term Rental)

For BUs with an existing MOU, if the MOU contains state business, travel and relocation language that is in conflict with this policy, the MOU language shall be controlling.

Assembly Bill 229 (AB 229), Chapter 770, Statutes of 2015, became effective January 1, 2016, and is scheduled to sunset December 31, 2018. AB 229 added section 19822.4 to California Government Code and stipulates that state agencies cannot prohibit state employees on official travel from using certain services, which are defined below.

AB 2777, Chapter 719, Statutes of 2018, extends the December 31, 2018 sunset date through December 31, 2021.

  • Transportation Network Companies: These companies provide prearranged transportation services for compensation using an online-enabled application or platform to connect passengers with drivers using a personal vehicle. Lyft and Uber are examples of transportation network companies.
  • Short-Term Rentals: This is a residential property that is rented to a visitor for fewer than 30 days through a centralized online platform. The rental is advertised and payments for the rental are securely processed. For purposes of travel reimbursement, a short-term rental shall be considered a commercial lodging establishment. AirBnB is an example of a short-term rental company.

Regardless of the type of lodging establishment or form of transportation selected, employees and agencies are required to adhere to the travel and reimbursement policy found in existing government codes and employee Memoranda of Understanding. Some basic concepts central to these polices are:

  • Employees must receive prior approval to travel.
  • Each state agency shall determine the necessity for travel and that such travel represents the best interest of the state.
  • Each state agency may determine the time and method of travel, location and lodging.
  • Reimbursement must be for actual and necessary out-of-pocket expenses, consistent with applicable reimbursement rates, incurred while traveling on official state business.

The following is intended to ensure that state agencies and employees have the basic information necessary to conduct business with a Transportation Network Company or a Short-Term Rental Company.

Booking Your Transportation Network Company Ride or Short-Term Rental

The state is exploring various options to address the process of how employees may book these services; however, until such time as these services can be integrated into the state’s travel system, all Transportation Network Company and Short-Term Rental reservations must be made using their proprietary applications. These reservations are exceptions to Management Memo 14-03, dated March 6, 2014, that mandated all travel arrangements be made through the State of California contracted travel vendor, CalTravelStore, or the online booking tool, Concur Travel.

Prior to booking a room, it is incumbent upon employees to verify that the room suits their specific needs and is in compliance with state policy. The following items are examples of what employees should consider when booking a room:

  • Employees with disabilities are strongly encouraged to verify that all aspects of the room (indoor/outdoor stairs/ramps, showers, lighting, etc.) meet their individual needs and include the type of accommodation their specific disability requires.
  • Employees need to consider the form of transportation that they will be using and whether the lodging site provides easy access to that transportation.
  • In the event that the nightly cost of the room exceeds the applicable state rate, employees must complete a STD 255C (Excess Lodging Rate Request Form) and submit the form for approval at least 10 days before the trip takes place.

Payment Information

Transportation Network Company Services
The primary payment method for Transportation Network Company services is through a department paid direct bill account that is set up between each state agency and the Transportation Network Company, eliminating the need for an expense claim. The following applies:

  • All charges are direct billed to the state agency.
  • Reporting is available to all participating agencies to provide transparency for the expenses.
  • Agencies should contact the Department of General Services’ Statewide Travel Program at (916) 376-3974 to set up their direct bill account.
  • Personal use of a department paid direct bill account is prohibited.

The secondary payment method for Transportation Network Company services is through a personal credit card or a government travel charge card and requires reimbursement through the Travel Expense Claim process. Reporting on expenses charged to a personal credit card will not be available to participating agencies through the vendor’s proprietary system.

Short-Term Rental
Short-Term Rental charges must be paid using the payment method required by the provider. Payment methods and terms are determined by the provider and are subject to change without notice. At this time, CalCard is not an authorized form of payment.

Receipt Policy

For the purposes of travel reimbursement, the state adheres to the Internal Revenue Service’s provisions for an Accountable Plan (Plan). In general terms, the Plan has certain requirements, including the submission of receipts when required, that must be met for an employee to receive full reimbursement of their authorized business travel expenses.

As long as the requirements of the Plan are met and state travel policy has been followed, Transportation Network Company or Short-Term Rental expenses are reimbursable.

These requirements are:

  • The expenses must have a business connection and must be incurred while performing duties as an employee.
  • The expenses must be adequately accounted for with the employer within a reasonable period of time.
  • Any excess reimbursement or allowance must be returned within a reasonable period of time to the employer.
  • Receipts must show the date, time, location, and cost of the expense.

Additional information about receipts and the Plan may be found in the Payroll Procedures Manual on the State Controllers’ Office website.

Transportation Network Company Credits

As noted above, the primary payment method for Transportation Network Company services (such as Uber, Lyft, etc.) is through a department paid direct bill account that is set up between each state agency and the Transportation Network Company, eliminating the need for an expense claim.

State employees shall not receive reimbursement for using personal transportation network company credits while conducting approved state business. Transportation network company credits do not translate to a cash value to be reimbursed by the state.

Airport Parking Expenses

Sections 599.615, 599.615.1, 599.626, and 599.626.1 of the California Code of Regulations (CCR), and State Administrative Manual (SAM) Section 0755, establish guidelines to help agencies/departments determine the least costly method of transportation for state employees. It is incumbent upon each individual agency/department to review their operational needs to determine if travel expenses are justifiable, can be absorbed within their budget, and are in the best interest of the state.

In regard to airport parking costs, as a general policy, state employees on authorized travel status should use the least-costly option when parking at airports. However, if an agency/department determines that additional parking costs above the lowest-cost option are in the best interest of the state, a justification explaining the necessity for the additional cost shall be submitted with the employee’s Travel Expense Claim (TEC). Agencies/departments should note that TEC’s submitted without the required justification may be cut by the State Controller’s Office.

Agencies/departments may consider the following items when determining if additional parking costs are in the best interest of the state:

  • The direct expense, and
  • The officer's or employee's time

Long-Term Travel

For BUs with an existing MOU, if the MOU contains state business, travel and relocation language that is in conflict with this policy, the MOU language shall be controlling.

Actual expenses for long-term meals and lodging substantiated by a receipt will be reimbursed when the employee, who at the onset of the assignment knows that he/she will be away from the home or headquarters area more than 30 days but less than one year, incurs expenses in one location comparable to those arising from the use of establishments catering to the long-term visitor.

  • Full Long-term Travel - In order to qualify for full long-term travel reimbursement, the employee on long-term field assignment must meet the following criteria:
    • The employee continues to maintain a permanent residence at the primary headquarters, and
    • The permanent residence is occupied by the employee’s dependents, or
    • The permanent residence is maintained at a net expense to the employee exceeding $200 per month.
  • Employees on full long-term travel who live at the long-term location may claim either:
    • Reimbursement for actual individual expense, substantiated by receipts, for lodging, water, sewer, gas and electricity, up to a maximum of $1,130 per calendar month while on long-term assignment, and actual expenses up to $10 for meals and incidentals, for each period of twelve (12) to twenty-four (24) hours and up to $5 for actual meals and incidentals for each period of less than twelve (12) hours at the long-term location, or
    • Long-term subsistence rates of $24 for actual meals and incidentals and $24 for receipted lodging for travel of twelve (12) hours up to twenty-four (24) hours; either $24 for actual meals or $24 for receipted lodging for travel less than twelve (12) hours when the employee incurs expenses in one location comparable to those arising from the use of establishments catering to the long-term visitor.

An employee on long-term assignment who does not maintain a separate residence in the headquarters area may claim long-term subsistence rates of up to $12 for actual meals and incidentals and $12 for receipted lodging for travel of twelve (12) hours up to twenty-four (24) hours at the long-term location; either $12 for actual meals or $12 for receipted lodging for travel less than twelve (12) hours at the long-term location.

Employees, with their supervisor’s approval, will receive full per diem for Friday, if, after completing their work shift, they remain at the job or LTA location past the Friday twelve (12)-hour clock period of time. Those staying overnight shall not receive any additional per diem regardless of the Saturday departure time. An employee returning to the temporary residence on Sunday will receive full per diem. This does not change policy regarding the per diem clock which starts at the beginning of the work shift on Monday. If the normal workweek is other than as stated above, the same principle applies.

CalHR policy regarding an employee leaving the LTA location on personal business is as follows:

  • The reference to leaving the LTA location for personal business and not claiming per diem or transportation expenses assumes that the employee stays overnight at a location other than the long-term accommodations.

Out-of-State Travel Policy

For BUs with an existing MOU, if the MOU contains state business, travel and relocation language that is in conflict with this policy, the MOU language shall be controlling.

Any limitations on lodging are placed by the appointing authority when approving travel. For short-term out-of-state travel, reimbursement will be for actual lodging, supported by a receipt. Reimbursement will be for actual meal and incidental expenses in accordance with the in-state meal and incidental rates. Failure to furnish lodging receipts will limit reimbursement to in-state meal/incidental rates. Long-term out-of-state travel will be reimbursed in accordance with the provisions of long-term travel.

Approval of Out-of-State Travel Requests

Please review the current budget letter from the Department of Finance for clarification on how to submit out-of-state travel requests to the Governor’s Office for review and approval.

Prohibition on State-Funded and State-Sponsored Travel to States with Discriminatory Laws (Assembly Bill [AB] 1887)

AB 1887 added section 11139.8 to the California Government Code, which prohibits state agencies from requiring any of their employees, officers, or members to travel to any state, or approving a request for state-funded or state-sponsored travel, to any state that after June 26, 2015, has enacted the following:

  • A law that voids or repeals, or has the effect of voiding or repealing, existing state or local protections against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.
  • A law that authorizes or requires discrimination against same-sex couples or their families or on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.

In order to help agencies comply with the provisions of AB 1887, the California Attorney General's website provides a current list of states that, after June 26, 2015, have enacted the aforementioned discriminatory laws or practices.

Each state agency must consult the list prior to travel to ensure compliance with the travel and funding restrictions imposed by AB 1887.

Out-of-Country Travel Policy

For BUs with an existing MOU, if the MOU contains state business, travel and relocation language that is in conflict with this policy, the MOU language shall be controlling.

Any limitations on lodging are placed by the appointing authority when approving travel. Reimbursement for short-term out-of-country travel shall be for actual lodging, substantiated by a receipt. Reimbursement for actual meals and incidentals shall be up to the maximums published in column (B) of the Maximum Travel per Diem Allowances for Foreign Areas, section 925, U.S. Department of State Standardized Regulations and the meal/incidental breakdown in Federal Travel Regulation Chapter 301, Travel Allowances, Appendix B.

Long-term out-of-country travel will be reimbursed in accordance with the provisions of long-term travel, or as determined by CalHR.

Subsistence shall be paid in accordance with procedures prescribed by CalHR. Employees shall be responsible for maintaining receipts for their actual meal expenses.

Approval of Out-of-Country Travel Requests

Please review the current budget letter from the Department of Finance for clarification on how to submit out-of-country travel requests to the Governor’s Office for review and approval.

Delegations of Authority - Travel Program

For BUs with an existing MOU, if the MOU contains state business, travel and relocation language that is in conflict with this policy, the MOU language shall be controlling.

Effective May 1, 1993, in order to allow state departments to take a more active role in the exception process and share a greater responsibility in the overall administration of their travel budgets, the Director of the Department of Personnel Administration (now CalHR) delegated to appointing powers the authority to approve certain additional exceptions to the travel rules. These delegations are extended with the provision that they will be administered according to the criteria, considerations and record keeping requirements stated below. All exceptions granted are subject to audit by CalHR.

Exceptions are to be granted in advance by the appointing power. While the appointing power may delegate the approval authority to others in his/her jurisdiction, any such delegation must be made in writing to both the CalHRTravel Program Coordinator and the State Controller's Office Audits Division.

Travel Delegation - 50 Mile Limit

This delegation is for the approval of the reimbursement of meals and/or lodging within 50 miles of home or headquarters when the employee is conducting state business away from the headquarters location. This delegation does not extend to the approval of meals or lodging at either the headquarters or home location.

It is not unusual or extraordinary for state employees to commute 50 miles or longer from their home to headquarters and back again on a daily basis. An employee who does not live in the immediate vicinity of his/her headquarters is not eligible to receive meals and lodging when required to work extended hours in the headquarters location. Likewise, an employee who must work at a site other than headquarters is not automatically considered to be eligible for meals and/or lodging simply by crossing the "50 mile line".

For state controlled functions, state departments are expected to demonstrate that every consideration has been given to minimizing the cost to the state through responsible planning and scheduling.

This exception does not provide for any increase in the standard travel reimbursement rates for meals or lodging. Departments holding meetings for their own employees, and employees traveling on regular state business may not exceed the receipted lodging maximum state rate or the meal and incidental state rates for regular travel.

Requests for exceptions must be made in advance, in writing, and include the following information:

  • Name and address
    • Employee
    • Headquarters
    • Exception site
  • Mileage
    • Home to headquarters
    • Headquarters to exception site
    • Home to exception site
  • Name of event or work to be completed
  • Date(s) covered by request
  • Costs to be incurred by this request
    • Meals
    • Lodging
    • Other
    • Total
  • Justification of need to provide meals and lodging
  • Sponsorship (name of state department or outside entity responsible for planning and scheduling the event)
  • Attachments required for attending training, events, etc.
    • Agenda
    • Registration form, instructions, materials
  • Requestor’s information
    • Name
    • Title
    • Phone number
    • Date of request
  • Department review
    • Approval or disapproval
    • Date of approval or disapproval
    • Department appointing authority or designee’s
      • Name
      • Title
      • Signature

The approved exception must accompany the claim when requesting payment from department accounting and/or the State Controller’s Office. The exception must be logged in accordance with the audit instructions.

Travel Delegation – Out-of-Country Meals and/or Incidentals

This delegation is for the approval of the reimbursement of meals and incidentals for out-of-country travel in accordance with the U.S. Department of State Maximum Travel Per Diem Allowances for Foreign Areas.  Individual meal and incidental maximums are to be designated in accordance with the breakdown published by the U.S. Department of State.

Requests must be made in advance, in writing and include the following information:

  • Name of employee
  • Reason for foreign travel
  • Date and locations of travel
  • Individual meal and incidental rates and totals for each location (location, breakfast, lunch, dinner, incidentals, total)
    • Any item in excess of $24.99 requires a receipt.
  • Date of publication from which rates were established
  • Requestor’s information
    • Name
    • Title
    • Phone number
    • Date of request
  • Department review
    • Approval or disapproval
    • Date of approval or disapproval
    • Department appointing authority or designee’s
      • Name
      • Title
      • Signature

The approved exception must accompany the claim when requesting payment from department accounting and/or the State Controller’s Office. The exception must be logged in accordance with the audit instructions.

Delegation – Payment of Subsistence in Excess of Three Days while on Sick Leave and Travel Status

This delegation allows the appointing power to approve the payment of meals and/or lodging to an employee who is on sick leave for a period exceeding three days when the illness or injury occurred while on travel status.

Departments shall not consider exceptions where the employee is confined to a hospital and hospital costs are covered by insurance. Expenses incurred other than hospital costs may be considered.

Requests must be made in writing and include the following information:

  • Name and address
    • Employee
    • Headquarters
    • Place of confinement during illness/injury
    • Place where expenses are being incurred
  • Nature of illness/injury and reason for not terminating travel status
  • Number of days confined during illness
  • Total cost of expenses incurred
  • Requestor’s information
    • Name
    • Title
    • Phone number
    • Date of request
  • Department review
    • Approval or disapproval
    • Date of approval or disapproval
    • Department appointing authority or designee’s
      • Name
      • Title
      • Signature

Delegation – Payment of Expenses of Applicants Called for Interview

This delegation applies only to persons who are not currently employed by the state.

This delegation allows the appointing authority to approve the payment of actual transportation expenses not to exceed ground transportation to and from the nearest airport and one round trip air coach fare, plus applicable tax, between the place from which the applicant was called and the place where the interview is held in accordance with the provisions of CalHR Rule 599.634 (Expenses of Applicants Who Are Called for Interview). Meal and lodging expenses are at a rate not to exceed those provided in CalHR Rule 599.619 (Reimbursement for Meals and Lodging - Excluded Employees).

Criteria for payment of applicant expenses:

  • The applicant must have been called for an interview to a classification for which it has been determined that the expenditure is necessary in order to recruit qualified persons needed by the state.
  • The determination and certification for the position must be made in writing.
  • The request to pay expenses must be made in writing, prior to the date of travel and contain the following information:
    • Name and address
      • Applicant
      • Site of Interview
    • Approximate amount of anticipated expenses, including tax (reimbursement may not exceed the current state rates)
    • Reason why it is necessary to pay for expenses related to calling an applicant for interview: (Such as, but not limited to, the position is hard to fill due to high level of technical skill or specialized experience required or to meet established LEAP program goals.)
    • Classification being filled
  • Requestor’s information
    • Name
    • Title
    • Phone number
    • Date of request
  • Department review
    • Approval or disapproval
    • Date of approval or disapproval
    • Department appointing authority or designee’s
      • Name
      • Title
      • Signature

Appointing Powers who further delegate this authority are instructed to notify both the SCO’s Audit Division and CalHR’s Travel Coordinator by forwarding a memo of delegated authority which includes the delegates name(s), title and signature. Some departments may have policies which further restrict exceptions or require additional information. CalHR will audit for the specific information required in the above criteria.

Receipt Policy

For BUs with an existing MOU, if the MOU contains state business, travel and relocation language that is in conflict with this policy, the MOU language shall be controlling.

Reimbursement will be claimed only for actual and necessary business, travel, and relocation expenses. Regardless of any exceptions to receipt policy, the approving officer may require additional certification and/or explanation from an employee to determine expenses were actually and reasonably incurred. In the absence of a satisfactory explanation, the expense shall not be allowed.

Receipts shall be submitted for every item of expense of $25 or more. When receipts are not required to be submitted with a travel expense claim, it is the employee’s responsibility to maintain receipts and records of their actual expenses. Receipts must be made available for audit upon request by employing departments, state control agencies and/or the Internal Revenue Service. Receipts are required for every item of transportation and business expense incurred as a result of conducting state business.

The following actual expenses are an exception to the receipt policy:

  • Railroad and bus fares of less than $25 when travel is wholly within California.
  • Street car, ferry fares, bridge and road tolls, local rapid transit system, taxi, shuttle or hotel bus fares, and parking fees of $10 or less for each continuous period of parking or each separate transportation expense noted in receipt policy.
  • Telephone, fax, or other necessary state business costs of $5 or less.
  • The absence of a receipt shall result in the reduction of the amount claimed to the non-receipted amounts above.

Moving and Relocation Policies

For BUs with an existing MOU, if the MOU contains state business, travel and relocation language that is in conflict with this policy, the MOU language shall be controlling.

Existing State Employees

Whenever an employee is reasonably required by the state to change his/her place of residence, the state shall reimburse the employee for approved items in accordance with the lodging, meal, and incidental rates and time frames established via CalHR policy.

Unless otherwise specifically noted in an employee’s MOU, existing CalHR Excluded employee moving and relocation rules shall be used to determine the requirements, time frames and administrative policy for determining the reimbursement of employee moving and relocation expenses.

New-Hires to State Service

Effective July 1, 2016, per PML 2016-010, the following provisions apply to excluded employee new-hires to state service. These provisions only apply to represented employees in certain bargaining units. Please review the applicable MOU for clarification.

For new-hires to state service, the provisions of CalHR regulations 599.723.1 (Excluded employees) and 599.723 (Represented employees) shall remain in effect with the exception of the following:

  • CalHR delegates to departmental Appointing Powers the authority to reimburse a maximum of 30 days of temporary lodging and meals at the new headquarters location, limited to the conditions, maximums and receipt requirements set forth in CalHR Travel Reimbursement policy. Up to 14 of the 30 days may be used for pre-move house hunting at the new headquarters location, reimbursable after the report date. Reimbursement for up to $200 of receipted expenses for installation, connection, or assembly of appliances, antennas or utilities that are related to the establishment of the new household.  Deposits are not reimbursable.

Advance approval of the employing Appointing Power and the Department of Finance is still required for any reimbursement or combination of reimbursements that exceeds $1,000. Claims for reimbursement of relocation expenses for new-hires to state service must be submitted no later than 6 months from the reporting date. No reimbursement will be issued prior to the employee reporting to the new headquarters.

Please review Article 7 (Moving and Relocation Expenses) of the California Code of Regulations and the current MOU, if applicable, for additional relocation information.

Application

Not Applicable.

Authorities

Resources

Forms

  • Excess Lodging Requests Annual Report Template: Excess Lodging Requests Annual Report Template
  • STD 236: Hotel/Motel Transient Occupancy Tax Waiver
  • STD 255: Moving Service Authorization (Employee Household Goods)
  • STD 255A: Moving Service Authorization/Bid Proposal - Mobile Home
  • STD 255C: Excess Lodging Rate Request
  • STD 256: Moving/Relocation Expense Approval Request
  • STD 257: Out-of-State Travel Approval Request Approval
  • STD 257C: Out-of-State Travel Request (Trip Description)
  • STD 260: Blanket Approval for Out-of-State Travel
  • STD 261: Authorization to Use Privately Owned Vehicles on State Business
  • STD 262: Travel Expense Claim
  • STD 265: Insurance Verification & Authorization to Operate Privately Owned/Rented/Leased Aircraft on State Business

PML

  • PML 1986-000-MM-001: PML 1986-000-MM-001 - 7/17/1986 - Travel Expenses of Non-State. Employees
  • PML 1988-023: PML 1988-023 - 9/21/1988 - Diem Allowances For the European Continent and England
  • PML 1993-028: PML 1993-028 - 4/29/1993 - Delegations of Authority - Travel Program
  • PML 1993-062: PML 1993-062 - 8/31/1993 - Headquarters Determinations For Members of Statutorily Established Boards and Commissions for Travel Expense Purposes
  • PML 2003-026: PML 2003-026 – 08/01/2003 – Travel and Relocation Reimbursements – Lodging Receipts
  • PML 2005-021: PML 2005-021 - 7/8/2005 - Travel and Relocation Reimbursements -- Third Party Vendor
  • PML 2006-013: PML 2006-013 - 4/6/2006 - Travel/Relocation - Delegation of Excess Lodging Rate Requests
  • PML 2007-024: PML 2007-024 - 9/7/2007 - Travel/Relocation Programs – Airport Parking Expenses
  • PML 2009-018: PML 2009-018 - 4/1/2009 - Travel Programs - Verification & Posting of Travel Expenses
  • PML 2011-043: PML 2011-043 - 11/21/2011 - Travel – Excess Lodging Rate Request form (STD 255C) Revision-Reminder of Reporting Requirements
  • PML 2011-044: PML 2011-044 - 11/21/2011 - Travel Programs – Verification of Travel Expenses
  • PML 2013-044: PML 2013-044 - 12/19/2013 - Travel – Excess Lodging Rate Request form (STD 255C) Revision/Reminder of Reporting Requirements
  • PML 2015-039: PML 2015-039 - 12/29/2015 - Travel/Relocation Programs – AB 229 Travel Reimbursement: (Transportation Network Company or Short-Term Rental)
  • PML 2016-010: Travel/Relocation Programs – Business, Travel, and Relocation Policy and Reimbursements for Employees in BU 2, 7, 9, and all Excluded Employees
  • PML 2016-020: PML 2016-020 - 7/27/2016 - Travel/Relocation Programs – Travel Reimbursement Rate Increases for Excluded Employees
  • PML 2016-031: PML 2016-031 - 11/18/2018 - Travel/Relocation Programs - AB 1887 - Out-of-State Travel Policy

Related Policies

  • 2202: Mileage Reimbursement
  • 2203: Allowances and Travel Reimbursements

Web Pages

Contact Person

Theresa Reid
Benefits Program Analyst, Travel/Relocation
Phone: 916-324-0526
Fax: 916-324-3213
Email: travel.manager@calhr.ca.gov

Authorized By

Machelle Martin
Chief, Benefits Division

History

View History

Table of Contents

1000 - Equal Employment Opportunity

1100 - Selection

1200 - Appointments

1300 - Exempt Employees

1400 - Benefits and Insurance

1500 - Work Schedules

1600 - Third Party Pre-Tax Parking

1700 - Compensation

1800 - Savings Plus

1900 - Bona Fide Associations

2000 - Collective Bargaining

2100 - Leave

2200 - Travel/Relocation

2300 - State Owned Housing

2400 - Employee Recognition

2500 - Discipline

2600 - Layoffs

2700 - Retirement

2800 - Training

2900 - Workforce Planning

3000 - Examination and Hiring

3100 - Drug-Free Workplace