The California Supreme Court has taken on a little-noticed employment case that will determine whether an employer must reimburse employees for specific out-of-pocket job expenses or can simply raise pay and call things even.

The suit by two Southern California salesmen for PennySaver advertising weeklies relies on a 1937 state labor statute requiring employers to indemnify workers for job-related expenses. The law doesn’t specify how that can be done — through expense payments or by adjusting salaries and commissions.

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