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Jan06

Recovering Money Spent on Employee for Travel

If an employee quits &/or is terminated & the co has already paid for non refundable airline tickets & lodging for upcoming travel for the employee prior to their leave of employment, can employer collect the amount of the expense from the employee?

Usually, any travel and lodging associated with an employee’s job is covered by the employer as a business expense. There is no federal law that requires private employers to pay for travel expenses; however, some states have adopted laws that mandate employers cover the cost of work related expenses such as those incurred by travelling.

Absent state law, whether an employer is entitled to recoup business-related expenses from an employee depends on the company’s policy/practice or any promise, even an implied promise, to cover such expenses. The fact that the employer paid for the travel expenses suggests an implied promise that the expenses would be covered by the employer. Assuming there was no written agreement that specifically stated the employee would be responsible for costs incurred if he was unable to take the trip, attempting to recoup the cost is pointless.

Lastly, going after a past employee for business expenses will undoubtedly create a sense of fear and resentment among your current employees. Employee morale and trust will be affected. It’s better to assume the expenses another cost of business. Remember, travel expenses are considered legitimate business expenses which are tax-deductible.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, January 6th, 2016 at 1:38 pm and is filed under
Human Resources Management.
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