Can a company pay certain employees who have newer cars a higher mileage reimbursement?

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Can a company pay certain employees who have newer cars a higher mileage reimbursement?

Each month, employees who have cars that are 9 years or less old get an additional $300 for using their personal car, plus 15 cents a mile. If you have an older car, you are only paid the 15 cents per mile. Is this allowed under state law?

Asked on May 31, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Employers do not have to pay mileage reimbursement at all--it is completely voluntary on their part, and many employers do not provide this. Since it is voluntary on their part, employers are free to determine how much to pay, and are also free to adopt rules treating employees differently, so long as the distinction is not based on one of a small number of specifically protected categories: e.g. employee race, religion, sex, age over 40, or disability. However, no law protects people on the basis of how new or old their cars are, so an employer may legally treat employees differently on this basis.


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