There have been many Mileage Reimbursement based lawsuits brought by employees who have not been reimbursed or inadequately been reimbursed by their companies for use of their personal vehicles for business use.
A well-known suit that many in the industry cite is one in California where Starbucks settled a Mileage Reimbursement claim for a reported $3 Million. This occurred in 2008 and there has only been more scrutiny on this subject since then. Links to the various court docs are here
- Class Action Mileage Reimbursement Lawsuit by plaintiff: https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/USCOURTS-caed-2_07-cv-00490/pdf/USCOURTS-caed-2_07-cv-00490-4.pdf
- Starbucks Mileage Reimbursement Settlement: gov.uscourts.caed.160694.40.0.pdf (archive.org)
Here’s an excerpt of the Lawsuit that pertains to Mileage Reimbursement:
On or about December 2005, Plaintiff began working for Defendant as an assistant manager at the Starbucks coffee store
located in Martell, California. Plaintiff was promoted to store manager in May 2006, and worked as a shift supervisor beginning in July 2006. Plaintiff resigned from Starbucks on March 9, 2007. During her employment with Defendant, Plaintiff alleges she regularly used her personal vehicle to perform work-related duties. Plaintiff alleges that she requested reimbursement from Starbucks for her mileage expenses on various occasions, and “was always advised that, as a matter of company policy, Starbucks does not reimburse employees for mileage expenses.” Plaintiff further alleges that Starbucks’ California shift supervisors, store managers, and assistant store managers regularly use their personal vehicles to perform work-related duties, and Starbucks does not reimburse those employees for their mileage expenses. On March 12, 2007, Plaintiff, acting on behalf of herself and all others similarly situated, filed her First Amended Complaint for Damages, Restitution, and Civil Penalties in this Court under diversity jurisdiction.
No matter the size of your employee population that drives for company business-related activities, managers should always implement the commonly used CPM (Cent per Mile) or FAVR (Fixed and Variable Rate) reimbursement solutions. In addition, there are a host of IRS approved commute types and mileage tracking systems available that prevent employees from tracking personal and commute mileage