California Department of Transportation
 
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Clark Paulsen, Division Chief

Long-Term Assignments
Lodging, Meal, and Incidental Rates

References: CCR 599.616, 599.616.1, 599.619, 599.621, 599.633, and 599.633.1 and Collective Bargaining Agreements.

Introduction

Qualifying employees: Employees in all bargaining units and non-represented employees.

Actual expenses for long-term meals and receipted lodging will be reimbursed when an employee incurs expenses in one location comparable to those arising from the use of establishments catering to the long-term visitor.

Employees on long-term assignments are expected to promptly acquire acceptable long-term commercial accommodations. Long-term accommodations are defined as, but not limited to, apartments, rental homes and rooms, condominiums, and hotels that offer long-term amenities. Costs associated with use of time shares and other privately owned venues are not commercial lodging establishments and will not be reimbursed. In general, these establishments offer monthly rates and may require separate utility payments. Once long-term accommodations have been established, the employee must claim long-term per diem rates as found in this section. If the employee owns the LTA residence, only long-term meals will be reimbursed. The Department may request additional information such as, but not limited to, rental agreements to determine that the secured accommodations are commercial.

To qualify for full long-term travel reimbursement, an employee on a long-term field assignment must meet the following criteria:

  • The employee continues to maintain a permanent residence at the primary headquarters area, and
  • The permanent residence is occupied by the employee's dependents, or
  • The permanent residence is maintained at a net expense to the employee exceeding $200 per month.

An employee who does not maintain a separate residence in the headquarters area may claim one half of long-term subsistence under the $24 - $24 Method.

Rent and Utilities Reimbursement Rates and Requirements

  • Actual expenses up to $5.00 for actual meals and incidentals for each period of less than 12 hours at the long-term location, and
  • Actual expenses up to $10.00 for meals and incidentals without receipts for each period of 12 to 24 hours, and
  • Reimbursement for actual employee expense substantiated by receipts, for lodging, water, sewer, furniture rental, gas and electricity, up to the maximum of $1,130 per calendar month while on the long-term assignment.

When an employee rents an establishment for a partial month, the full monthly rent and utilities up to $1,130 must be pro-rated when claiming reimbursement.

When an employee is away from the long-term location, the reimbursement for rent may continue while on short-term business travel or other absences with the approval of the appointing power.

See Chapter 5, Long-Term Assignment TEC's for receipt requirements.

 

$24 - $24 Reimbursement Rates and Requirements

When the employee incurs expenses in one location in establishments catering to the long-term visitor, an employee may claim:

  • Actual up to $24 for lodging and actual up to $24 for actual meals for each 12 to 24- hour period.
  • Either $24 for actual meals or $24 for daily receipted lodging for travels less than 12 hours at the long term location.

Employees who do not maintain a separate residence in the headquarters area may claim long-term subsistence rates:

  • Either $12.00 for actual meals or $12.00 for receipted lodging for travel less than 12 hours at the long-term location, and;
  • Up to $12.00 for actual meals and incidentals and actual up to $12.00 for receipted lodging for travel of 12 to 24 hours at the long-term location.

Note: If the employee claims the daily rate ($12/12 or $24/24) and submits a monthly receipt for lodging, the reimbursement is calculated by dividing the monthly rate by the number of days in the month. The rate will then be multiplied times the number of days the employee stayed at the long term site to determine their total monthly lodging reimbursement.

 

Non-represented employees:

With the approval of the appointing power, the reimbursement of monthly long-term lodging paid under the ($12-$12 or $24 - $24) Method may continue when the employee is away from the LTA location on short-term business travel or other approved short-term absences. Short-term absences do not include weekends home.

See Chapter 5, Long-Term Assignment TEC's for receipt requirements.

 

Returning Home and Weekend Per Diem

Expenses start at the beginning of the work shift on Monday. If the normal workweek begins on a day other than Monday, the same principle applies. The 24-hour clock is used to determine when employees qualify for lodging and meals. A 12 to 24 hour period qualifies employees for full per diem, whereas, a less than 12-hour period qualifies employees for one half of per diem.

Employees may claim per diem during regularly scheduled days off (e.g., Saturdays, Sundays, holidays) provided they remain at the LTA location.

With supervisory approval, represented employees (except those in Bargaining Units 7 and 10), who after completing the work shift and remain at the job or LTA location for at least 12 hours, will receive full per diem for the last day of the work week. Those staying overnight Friday shall not receive any per diem for Saturday regardless of the Saturday departure time.

Represented employees (except those in Bargaining Units 7 and 10) who are returning to the LTA residence on Sunday will receive full per diem for Sunday.

 

Vacation, ATO, and CTO

Employees may continue claiming long-term lodging and meals on normal work days when using vacation, administrative time off (ATO), or compensating time off (CTO) in increments of less than their normal work shift or when on ordered ATO or CTO, provided they remain at the LTA location. Ordered ATO or CTO is generally due to weather conditions that prohibits employees from performing their job duties.

 

Authorized Sick Leave

Employees may continue claiming lodging and meals up to a maximum of three consecutive working days per illness when absent on authorized sick leave, provided that they remain at the LTA location. For information on extending the reimbursement of lodging and meals beyond three days, see Chapter 6, Travel Exceptions, Subsistence While on Sick Leave.

 

Personal Business

Employees leaving the LTA location for personal business shall not receive reimbursement for per diem or transportation expenses. It is assumed that the employee will stay overnight at a location other than at the long-term accommodation.

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