This site requires JavaScript. Please enable JavaScript in your web browser.

2203 - Allowances and Travel Reimbursements

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 information about allowances and travel reimbursements.
  • Provides eligibility criteria.
  • States the reimbursement rates.

Introduction

Provisions in the following programs authorize the reimbursement of authorized out-of-pocket expenses such as receipted lodging, meals and/or incidentals (per diem) that are reasonably, actually, and necessarily incurred as a result of conducting state business:

  • Travel Program
  • Relocation Program
     

Statement

Eligibility Criteria for Reimbursement of Travel Expenses

All excluded and represented employees may be eligible for reimbursement of receipted lodging and per diem for authorized business travel. The circumstances of travel will determine eligibility and the rate allowed.

Eligibility Criteria for Reimbursement of Moving and Relocation Expenses

All excluded and represented employees may be eligible for reimbursement of receipted lodging and per diem for authorized employee relocations. The circumstances of travel and the specific relocation will determine eligibility and the rate allowed.

Business and Travel Policy

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.

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.  HR Manual section 2201 – Travel and Relocation Policy provides information on reimbursement for approved travel less than 50 miles 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.

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 (IRS). 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.

Reimbursement for Meals, Incidentals and 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 on authorized travel status may be reimbursed for receipted lodging and per diem. Reimbursement rates for meals and incidentals are as follows:

Reimbursement Rates
ExpenseReimbursement for Actual Expense
BreakfastUp to $7
LunchUp to $11
DinnerUp to $23
IncidentalsUp to $5

Receipts for Meals and Incidentals

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 must maintain receipts to substantiate the amounts claimed were not in excess of the amount of the actual expense.

Incidentals

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.

CalHR must comply with current IRS policy. The term “incidentals” includes fees and tips given to porters, baggage carriers, hotel staff, and staff on ships. No other items may be claimed as incidentals.

Travel Timeframes

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.

For travel lasting 24 hours or more, employees may claim meals (at the rates noted above), based on the following timeframes:

  • First day of travel:
    • Trip begins at or before 6 am - Breakfast may be claimed
    • Trip begins at or before 11 am - Lunch may be claimed
    • Trip begins at or before 5 pm - Dinner may be claimed
  • Continuing travel after 24 hours:
    • Trip ends at or after 8 am - Breakfast may be claimed
    • Trip ends at or after 2 pm - Lunch may be claimed
    • Trip ends at or after 7 pm - Dinner may be claimed
  • Fractional day travel (trips less than 24 hours):
    • Trip begins at or before 6 am and ends at or after 9 am - Breakfast may be claimed
    • Trip begins at or before 4 pm and ends at or after 7 pm - Dinner may be claimed
    • If the fractional day includes an overnight stay, receipted lodging may be claimed. No meal or lodging expenses may be claimed or reimbursed more than once on any given date or during any twenty-four (24)-hour period.
    • Employees may not claim lunch or incidentals on one-day trips.
    • When trips are less than 24 hours and there is no overnight stay, meals claimed are taxable.

Short-Term Lodging Reimbursement Rates

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.

HR Manual section 2201 – Travel and Relocation Policy provides additional information about short-term lodging and the excess lodging rate request process.

Lodging Reimbursement Rates
CountyMaximum Lodging Reimbursement Rate
All counties except those listed below$90
Sacramento, Napa, Riverside$95
Marin$110
Los Angeles, Orange, Ventura & Edwards AFB, excluding the city of Santa Monica$120
San Diego, Monterey $125
Alameda, San Mateo, Santa Clara$140
City of Santa Monica$150
San Francisco$250

Application

Not Applicable.

Authorities

Resources

Forms

  • 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 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 1988-033: PML 1988-033 - 6/1/1988 - Per Diem and Mileage Expenses During Negotiations
  • PML 1989-000-MM-023: PML 1989-000-MM-023 - 12/13/1989 - Delegation of Headquarters Determinations for Members of Statutorily Established Boards and Commissions for Travel Expense Purposes
  • PML 1992-012: PML 1992-012 - 1/24/1992 - Expenses for Applicants Who Are Called for Interview/Change Their Place of Residence to Accept Employment with the State
  • 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 1995-017: PML 1995-017 - 4/3/1995 - Excluded Employees - Impact to Benefits upon Movement to Represented Status
  • PML 2005-021: PML 2005-021 - 7/8/2005 - Travel and Relocation Reimbursements -- Third Party Vendor
  • PML 2005-051: PML 2005-051 - 11/29/2005 - Travel and Relocation Programs - Travel Premiums
  • 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 2013-022: PML 2013-022 - 7/11/2013 - Travel/Relocation Programs – Lodging/Per Diem Increase for SEIU, CAHP, PECG, and Excluded Employees
  • PML 2013-026: PML 2013-026 - 8/12/2013 - Travel/Relocation Programs – Lodging/Per Diem Increase for SEIU, CAHP, PECG, and Excluded Employees
  • PML 2013-034: PML 2013-034 - 10/10/2013 - Travel/Relocation Programs – Lodging/Per Diem Increases for CCPOA, CSLEA, IUOE, UAPD, CAPT, and AFSCME
  • PML 2013-035: PML 2013-035 - 10/10/2013 - Travel/Relocation Programs – Lodging/Per Diem Increases for CDF Firefighters (BU 8)
  • PML 2013-037: PML 2013-037 - 10/30/2013 - Travel/Relocation Programs – Lodging/Per Diem Increases for PECG
  • PML 2013-044: PML 2013-044 - 12/19/2013 - Travel – Excess Lodging Rate Request form (STD 255C) Revision/Reminder of Reporting Requirements
  • PML 2014-030: PML 2014-030 - 9/29/2014 - Travel/Relocation Programs – Lodging/Per Diem Increases for BU 2 (CASE) Employees
  • PML 2014-031: PML 2014-031 - 9/29/2014 - Travel/Relocation Programs – Lodging/Per Diem Increases for BU 10 (CAPS) and BU 13 (IUOE) Employees
  • PML 2015-004: PML 2015-004 - 2/20/2015 - Travel/Relocation Programs – Change in the Definition of What May be Claimed as an Incidental
  • 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

Related Policies

  • 2201: Travel and Relocation Policy
  • 2202: Mileage Reimbursement

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