(Revised: 02/2021)

Government Code section 19849.8 permits agencies/departments to pay for the repair or replacement of damaged personal property worn or used by an employee in the course of employment (e.g., eyeglasses, hearing aids, dentures, watches, or articles of clothing). Government Code section 19850.6 permits agencies/departments to reimburse or provide an employee with the replacement of stolen personal property required for the performance of work.  See California Code of Regulations, Title 2, Division 1, Chapter 3, Subchapter 1, Article 8, section 599.725.

When employees bring personal property to the workplace for personal use and it is damaged or stolen, the repair, replacement, or reimbursement of property is not considered to be the state’s responsibility.

If personal property approved for the workplace is stolen without fault of the employee, the choice of reimbursement or replacement is up to the employee's agency/department, but the employee's preference must be considered before making a decision. Employees required to use their personal tool or equipment, as a condition of employment, must provide their agency/department with an inventory list of all personal property used on the job prior to the loss.  The local law enforcement agency having jurisdiction over the area where the crime occurred must be notified and a copy of the police report shall accompany the claim.  Any claims of $500 and above for stolen property must have the prior approval of the California Department of Human Resources.

Agencies/departments will approve claims under this section only when the circumstances of such loss clearly indicate that reimbursement is proper. Each claim for damage to or stolen personal property will include:


  1. An incident report describing the cause of the damage or the circumstances surrounding the theft.
  2. A receipt for repairs of damaged items. If the article is damaged beyond repair, a statement of the of the article’s value at the time of damage and the reason it could not be repaired.
  3. A statement that the stolen property’s value was verified by inspecting the original sales records, current price lists, or other appropriate methods.
  4. A certification by the employee that:
    1. The item was required for employment.
    2. The loss or damage occurred at the worksite, the workbase, or en route.
    3. There was no employee carelessness or negligence and all foreseeable precautions were taken.

    All three stipulations in this certification must be made or the claim will not be approved. If they are met, an agency/department may pay the cost of replacing, repairing, or
    reimbursing the item’s value.

  5. Approval by the employee's supervisor including:
  1. Confirmation of the facts stated by the employee.
  2. Recommendation for reimbursement or replacement.
  3. A statement of measures taken to prevent the recurrence of the theft or damage.

Payments should not be made when recovery is possible under worker's compensation laws.

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