California Department of Transportation
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Clark Paulsen, Division Chief

Business Related Meals

References: California Code of Regulations (CCR), Administration, Title 2, Sections 599.622 and 599.623

Business related meals are intended to allow an agency to reimburse employees for meal expenses in the limited number of instances where they are required to incur such expenses in connection with the conduct of official state business with a person or persons from outside state government.

To claim reimbursement for a business related meal, the circumstances surrounding the meal must be beyond the control of the employee and it must be impractical to complete the business during normal working hours such as:

  • To attend a board or commission meeting where attendance is mandatory and there is no adjournment during the meal period.
  • To conduct state business with a person or persons from outside state service when availability of the person or persons is limited and it is imperative that business is conducted during the meal period.

Claims for meal expenses that are prohibited include:

  • Claims by employees also claiming per diem meals.
  • When departments call meetings with their own and/or other department employees to conduct state business.
  • Where business is incidental to the meal or the attendance of the employee is primarily for public or community relations.

Reimbursement Claims

When it is necessary for an employee to conduct official state business during a meal, he or she may be reimbursed for actual meal expenses, supported by a receipt, up to the maximums prescribed in CCR Section 599.619(a) (1) and the bargaining unit contracts.

The Travel Expense Claim must include:

  • An agenda of the business conducted.
  • The name of the establishment where the meeting was held.
  • The original plus one copy of the meal receipt.
  • The person(s) in attendance and their affiliation (Federal and local governments, elected officials, etc).
  • The reason why the business had to be conducted during the meal period.

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