The State Worker

New rule: California state workers can get reimbursed for electric bike rides

A bit of good news arrived for state workers in a formally worded email from CalHR Thursday: Yes, the state will reimburse you for using JUMP bikes.

The email came in response to employee questions about whether the department’s policy for reimbursing bicycle travel includes electric bikes.

“They could before, it just wasn’t crystal clear,” CalHR spokesman Andrew LaMar said.

The email referenced updates to the state’s travel and relocation policy, which also clarifies that electric scooters — more common in cities such as San Diego and San Francisco — are eligible for reimbursement. For either mode of transport, the policy strongly encourages helmet use.

Additionally, the updates incorporate a piece of legislation passed in September that ensures state employees may be reimbursed for short-term lodging using services such as Airbnb and for ride-hailing services such as Uber and Lyft.

The policy sets limitations for when employees may use short-term rental services, restricting them to “moderately priced” establishments.

State employees are subject to a maximum per-night reimbursement rate that varies by county. For Sacramento County, the rate is $95 per night. More expensive lodging requires additional approvals.

Assembly Bill 2777 protects use of short-term rental services through the end of 2021. Unite Here, a union representing hotel and travel industry workers, opposed the legislation before its passage.