California Department of Transportation
 
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Clark Paulsen, Division Chief

Short-Term Travel
Lodging Rates and Requirements

References: Code of Regulations (CCR), Administrative Code, Title 2, 599.619, 599.621 599.624, 599.624.1, 599.625, and 599.625.1, DGS Travel Bulletin 10-06, CalHR PML 2013-022, CalHR PML 2013-034, PML 2013-37, and Bargaining Unit Contracts

Introduction

Employees on short-term travel status shall be reimbursed for actual expenses for receipted lodging up to the maximum rates provided in this section unless directed to travel under the provisions of CCR 599.624 or 599.624.1 (Contracting for Subsistence). Lodging included in conference fees or otherwise provided by the State shall not be claimed for reimbursement.

Reimbursement for short-term lodging will be authorized only when the traveler incurs expenses arising from the use of reasonable, moderately priced lodging establishments such as hotels, motels, bed and breakfast inns, and campgrounds that cater to the general public. Costs associated with use of time shares and other privately owned venues are not commercial lodging establishments and will not be reimbursed. The circumstances of travel will determine the rate allowed.

Short-term travel status is defined as travel a minimum of 50 miles away from the employee's designated headquarters and primary residence, and lasting no more than 30 calendar days in a "single location.” A single location is defined as a major metropolitan area, cities in vicinity to one another, and any locations that straddle county or state lines within a 50-mile radius.

The short-term rate is intended for trips of such duration that weekly and monthly rates are not obtainable and will be discontinued after the 30th consecutive day assigned to a single location unless an extension has been previously documented and approved by the appointing power. In extending the short-term travel, the appointing power shall consider the expected remaining length of the travel assignment.

For more information, see Chapter 6 Travel Exceptions, Short-Term Subsistence Beyond 30 Days.

Lodging Receipts

All lodging reimbursement requires a receipt from a commercial lodging establishment. Receipts must show the name and address of the lodging establishment, the employee's name, check-in/check-out date, expenses incurred (hotel rate, taxes, etc.) and indicate charges as paid in full (zero balance). No lodging will be reimbursed without a valid receipt.

Third Party Vendors

For third party (Priceline, Expedia, etc.) lodging reimbursement requirements, see Third Party Vendors.

Staying with Friends and Relatives

Employees who stay with friends or relatives are not eligible for lodging reimbursement.

Vacation, CTO, or Sick Leave

Lodging expenses will not be allowed when an employee is authorized vacation or compensating time off (CTO) while on short-term travel status. If an employee is granted sick leave while traveling on state business, he or she may be authorized to claim reimbursement for travel expenses, up to a maximum of three days. For information on exceeding the three days, see Chapter 6 Travel Exceptions, Subsistence While on Sick Leave.

Lodging Resources

It is the employee's responsibility to ensure that the nightly lodging rate is at or below the authorized state government rates found in this section. Lodging reimbursements will be limited to the maximum state allowance determined by the geographical area and the employee's representation status (bargaining unit or non-represented).

The State Lodging Guide located at http://www.catravelsmart.com is no longer available. Travelers are now being directed to use Concur to view lodging information. Employees must have an active Concur account to view lodging. Contact the Travel Policy Section for login information.

Concur, the State’s online travel booking tool, maintains a database of over 85,000 hotels. Concur will display a detailed description of the hotel properties found in the search, as well as all properties that offer a State government rate. Additional information is provided for each hotel, including a hotel description, transportation, general room information, facilities, hotel policies, information on ADA accessible guest rooms, roll-in showers, and much more.

Requests to exceed the maximum lodging rate must be approved by the Division of Accounting's Travel Policy Section 15 calendar days prior to travel. See Chapter 6 Travel Exceptions, Excess Lodging Rate Requests.

Short-term Lodging Rates for Regular State Business

Effective July 1, 2013, the Department of Human Resources (CalHR) increased lodging and per diem reimbursement rates for official State travel for SEIU (Bargaining Units (BU) 1, 3, 4, 11, 14, 15, 17, 20, and 21), PECG (Bargaining Unit 9) and all Non-Represented (Excluded/Exempt employees).

Effective October 1, 2013, the Department of Human Resources (CalHR) increased lodging and per diem reimbursement rates for official State travel for Bargaining Unit 12 (BU12).

Effective November 1, 2013, the Department of Human Resources (CalHR) adjusted lodging reimbursement rates for official; State travel for PECG Bargaining Unit 9 (BU 9).

Rank and File employees whose BU has not reached an agreement with CalHR on a new contract will will continue to use the rates found in their current contract until further notice.

Short-Term Lodging Rates - BU 1, 3, 4, 11, 14, 15, 17, 20, & 21 Represented Employees & Excluded Employees

Effective July 1, 2013:

  • All Counties/Cities located in California (except as noted below):
           Actual lodging expense, supported by a receipt, up to $90 per night, plus tax.
  • Napa, Riverside, and Sacramento Counties:
           Actual lodging expense, supported by a receipt, up to $95 per night, plus tax.
  • Los Angeles, Orange, and Ventura Counties and Edwards AFB, excluding the city of Santa Monica:
           Actual lodging expense, supported by a receipt, up to $120 per night, plus tax.
  • Alameda, Monterey, San Diego, San Mateo, Santa Clara Counties:
           Actual lodging expense, supported by a receipt, up to $125 per night, plus tax.
  • San Francisco County and the City of Santa Monica:
           Actual lodging expense, supported by a receipt, up to $150 per night, plus tax.

Short-Term Lodging Rates - BU 9 Represented Employees

Effective July 1, 2013 through October 31, 2013:

  • All Counties/Cities located in California (except as noted below):
           Actual lodging expense, supported by a receipt, up to $90 per night, plus tax.
  • Napa, Riverside, and Sacramento Counties:
           Actual lodging expense, supported by a receipt, up to $95 per night, plus tax.
  • Los Angeles, Orange, and Ventura Counties and Edwards AFB, excluding the city of Santa Monica:
           Actual lodging expense, supported by a receipt, up to $120 per night, plus tax.
  • Monterey and San Diego Counties:
           Actual lodging expense, supported by a receipt, up to $125 per night, plus tax.
  • Alameda, San Mateo, Santa Clara Counties:
           Actual lodging expense, supported by a receipt, up to $140 per night, plus tax.
  • San Francisco County and the City of Santa Monica:
           Actual lodging expense, supported by a receipt, up to $150 per night, plus tax.

Short Term Lodging Rates - BU 12 Represented Employees

Effective October 1, 2013:

  • All Counties/Cities located in California (except as noted below): Actual lodging expense, supported by a receipt, up to $90 per night, plus tax.
  • Napa, Riverside, and Sacramento Counties:  Actual lodging expense, supported by a receipt, up to $95 per night, plus tax.
  • Los Angeles, Orange, and Ventura Counties and Edwards AFB, excluding the city of Santa Monica:  Actual lodging expense, supported by a receipt, up to $120 per night, plus tax.
  • Alameda, Monterey, San Diego, San Mateo, Santa Clara Counties:  Actual lodging expense, supported by a receipt, up to $125 per night, plus tax.
  • San Francisco County and the City of Santa Monica:  Actual lodging expense, supported by a receipt, up to $150 per night, plus tax.

Short Term Lodging Rates - BU 9 Represented Employees

Effective November 1, 2013:

  • All Counties/Cities located in California (except as noted below):
            Actual lodging expense, supported by a receipt, up to $90 per night, plus tax.
  • Napa, Riverside, and Sacramento Counties:
           Actual lodging expense, supported by a receipt, up to $95 per night, plus tax.
  • Los Angeles, Orange and Ventura Counties and Edwards AFB, excluding the city of Santa Monica:
           Actual lodging expense, supported by a receipt, up to $120 per night, plus tax.
  • Alameda, Monterey, San Diego, San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties:
           Actual lodging expense, supported by a receipt, up to $125 per night, plus tax.
  • San Francisco County and the City of Santa Monica:
            Actual lodging expense, supported by a receipt, up to $150 per night, plus tax.

All Other Bargining Units

All California counties not listed below Actual expense up to $84 per night, plus tax
Los Angeles and San Diego Counties Actual expense up to $110 per night, plus tax
Alameda, San Francisco, Santa Clara, and San Mateo Counties Actual expense up to $140 per night, plus tax

 

Represented Bargaining Unit 2 Employees only:

With supervisory approval, when providing three quotes from moderately priced hotels:

Marin County Actual expense up to $110 per night, plus tax
Orange County Actual expense up to $110 per night, plus tax

 

Hotel/Motel Transient Occupancy Tax

The transient occupancy tax (room tax) is imposed by cities within the State of California. Lodging establishments have the option to assess or waive the tax.

Upon making reservations, employees should inquire if the lodging establishment honors the tax waiver. If honored, employees are expected to complete and present a Hotel/Motel Transient Occupancy Tax Waiver Form STD. 236 when registering at the hotel. Transient occupancy taxes not waived by hotels and motels are reimbursable.

State Sponsored Conferences or Conventions

For receipted lodging while attending state sponsored conferences and conventions, when the lodging is contracted by the state sponsor for the event, and the appointing authority has granted prior approval for attendance and lodging at the contract rate and establishment: Actual lodging up to $110 plus applicable taxes.

See Chapter 6 Travel Exceptions, Excess Lodging Rate Request for approval requirements.

Non-State Sponsored Conferences or Conventions

For receipted lodging while attending non-state sponsored conferences and conventions, when the lodging is contracted by the sponsor for the event, and the appointing authority has granted prior approval for attendance and lodging at the contracted rate and establishment: Actual lodging when approved in advance by the appointing authority.

See Chapter 6 Travel Exceptions, Excess Lodging Rate Request for approval requirements.

Reimbursement of lodging expenses in excess of specified amounts, excluding taxes requires advance written approval from the California Department of Human Resources (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. An employee may not claim lodging, meal, or incidental expenses within 50 miles of his/her home or headquarters.

Energy, Resort, and Tourism Fees

Energy, tourism, and resort fees assessed to hotel guests are reimbursable.

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