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2201 - Travel and Relocation Policy (Historical View)

** Effective: 7/10/2018 3:02:33 PM - 7/10/2018 3:04:19 PM **

Status: Active

Change Notes

Updated Statement.

Category

Travel/Relocation

Audience List

Synopsis

This policy:

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:

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 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.

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.

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.

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:

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.

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.

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) 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 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.

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:

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:

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:

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:

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:

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

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.

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:

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:

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.

 

Application

Not Applicable.

Authorities

Resources

Forms

PML

Related Policies

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