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Foreign work assignment

Technical topics regarding tax preparation.
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Client was assigned to work in a foreign country for 6 months in 2019. He does not qualify for FEIE due to the short period of time spent oversea. And there is no FTC either as he did not need to pay tax to the foreign government.

Would employee travel expenses be a possible deductible item to him though? His living expenses during the 6 months were not reimbursed by the employer. Therefore, is he allowed to use the per diem rate allowed by the IRS to claim meals and lodging as an itemized deduction?

I understand unreimbursed employee expenses are not deductible on the Federal tax return anymore. But it is still an allowable item in the California itemized schedule.
 

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