2201 - Travel and Relocation Policy (Historical View)** Effective: 3/7/2018 1:55:53 PM - 3/7/2018 2:13:53 PM **
- Accounting Officers
- Budget Officers
- Claims Coordinators
- Employee Benefits Officers
- Labor Relations Officers
- Personnel Officers
- Personnel Transactions Staff
- Travel and Relocation Liaisons
- Provides general information about the Travel and Relocation Programs.
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, or, in the event of an authorized employee move or relocation to another headquarters location, the reimbursement of certain out-of-pocket moving costs.
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.
Method of Travel
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.
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.
Short-Term Lodging Reimbursement Rates
Maximum Lodging Reimbursement Rates for All Represented Employees and All Excluded Employees
The Short-Term Lodging Reimbursement Rates 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) 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 Short-Term Lodging Reimbursement Rates 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.
Any limitations on lodging are placed by the appointing authority when approving travel. Lodging and meals may otherwise be claimed as follows:
- Actual cost of lodging with a lodging receipt; meals and incidentals, based on in-state rates and policies.
Any limitations on lodging are placed by the appointing authority when approving travel. Lodging and meals may otherwise be claimed as follows (applies to all state employees):
- Lodging - Actual expense, supported by receipt.
- Meals and Incidentals - Actual expense up to U.S. State Department Foreign Per Diem Rates (meal/incidental rates, column G) in effect at the time of travel for the specific foreign location, in accordance with breakdown in Appendix B, Federal Travel Regulation Chapter 301.
- Foreign Per Diem Rates - Maximum rates of per diem allowances for travel in foreign areas.
- Appendix B: Daily Breakdown of the Per Diem Rates.
All employees (Represented and Excluded) may be eligible for reimbursement of authorized out-of-pocket business expenses and/or authorized out-of-pocket relocation expenses.
Always verify reimbursement information/rates and effective dates by reviewing the appropriate employee Memorandum of Understanding and/or the applicable CalHR Travel/Relocation Rules.
Please note that travel and relocation provisions and rates may vary amongst Represented employees and Excluded employees. This variation is due to Memoranda of Understanding, CalHR Rules, and/or policy.
- Bargaining / Contracts
- California Code of Regulations, title 2, sections 599.615 to 599.638.1
- California Code of Regulations, title 2, sections 599.714 to 599.724.1
- Executive Order B-06-11
- Executive Order B-5-11
- Government Code section 18502
- Government Code sections 11030 to 11033.5
- STD 236: Hotel/Motel Transient Occupancy Tax Waiver
- STD 255C: Excess Lodging Rate 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 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 2009-018: PML 2009-018 - 4/1/2009 - Travel Programs - Verification & Posting of Travel Expenses
- PML 2011-044: PML 2011-044 - 11/21/2011 - Travel Programs – Verification of Travel Expenses
- PML 2015-039: PML 2015-039 - 12/29/2015 - Travel/Relocation Programs – AB 229 Travel Reimbursement:
- 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
- Appendix B of Chapter 301-Federal Travel Regulation: Allocation of M&IE Rates to Be Used in Making Deductions from the M&IE Allowance
- CalATERS: California Automated Travel Expense Reimbursement System
- Foreign Per Diem Rates: Maximum rates of per diem allowances for travel in foreign areas
- Payroll Procedures Manual : State Controller's Office PPM
- Per Diem Rates: U.S. Department of State Daily Breakdown of the Per Diem Rates
- Statewide Travel Program: Department of General Services State Travel Portal
Benefits Program Analyst , Travel/Relocation
Chief, Benefits Division