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When Employers Have To Reimburse Employee Expenses and Mileage

While federal law does not require employers to reimburse employee expenses and mileage, some states, such as California, do. Furthermore, federal law does require that employers pay minimum wage. When the cost of the expense causes the employee to drop below the minimum wage, the employer does have to reimburse mileage and expenses.

When Employers Have to Reimburse Employee Expenses

Even though employee reimbursement is not mandated by the FLSA, sometimes it’s necessary in order to remain compliant with federal law. Here is why:

“Wages must be paid free and clear of impermissible deductions – such as the costs of operating the vehicle or traveling on the road – that would reduce pay below the federal minimum.”-DOL

What this means is that an employee needs to make minimum wage after subtracting any business incurred expenses from their regular wage.

For example, if an employee works full time, making $7.25 per hour but spends $20 per week on gas for the company car, then her real wage is $6.75. To get this number, I multiplied $7.25 times 40 hours, subtracted 20 bucks, and then divided it by 40 hours to get my new wage. $6.75 is below the federal minimum wage. Under these circumstances, the employer would be violating the minimum wage law.

The Kickback

When an employee spends his or her own money on work-related expenses, it is called a kickback. Employees kickback money from their own pockets to their employer when they drive their cars and don’t get reimbursed. When you think about it like that, it may seem a little backwards that an employee would, essentially, pay their employer. It should be the other way around. But no one is fighting the kickback per se. The problem arises when that kickback brings the employee’s total wage down below the federal or state minimum.

“Wages are not truly “received” unless they are paid “free and clear” and, thus, an employee cannot “kick-back”, directly or indirectly to the employer or to another person for the employer’s benefit, any part of the wage delivered to the employee.”-DOL

Examples of Kickbacks

Items purchased by the employee for the employer’s benefit and not reimbursed to the employee:

  • Oil, tires, or repairs to an employer-owned car or truck
  • Gas or tolls while driving for work purposes
  • Cost of food or lodging while traveling for work
  • Tools required for the job such as nails or stamps
  • Mileage

Mileage Kickback

Since the rate employers choose to reimburse employees is not mandated by federal law (the IRS rate is simply a guide) many employers choose to reimburse less than the IRS rate. This is fine in most cases but can be problematic in some.

For example, let’s say that a pizza delivery driver makes $8 per hour and the employer reimburses 30 cents per mile. Then the employee is kicking back about 24 cents per mile (since the federal mileage rate is around 54 cents). If this employee drives 100 miles per week, that’s $24. The employee only works 30 hours per week so she’s kicking back enough of her wages to bring her below federal minimum wage. Her wage “free and clear” would be $7.20.

So, do employers have to reimburse employee mileage at the full IRS rate? Maybe. It depends on their wage, the number of hours they work, and how many miles they put it. Just don’t let employees fall below the minimum wage.

Minimum Wage is Mandatory

Employees cannot waive their right to make minimum wage. They can come to an agreement with their employer regarding mileage and expense reimbursement but minimum wage is a right. This is why the kickback rule is in place – to ensure that employees make minimum wage even after kicking back cash to their employers in one form or another. FLSA violations such as these result in fees and back wages due to employees.

How to Compare Mileage to Payroll

Employees can track mileage with Managers can run expense reports and compare those to payroll reports if they’re concerned employees might be dropping below minimum wage.

Our implementation specialists are always available to help set up this and other features!

Reimburse employee expenses and mileage with online software.

196 Responses

  1. I have an unusual situation. I work in the oil & gas industry, and my employer pays me by the hour. I frequently have to travel out of state in my personal vehicle and am paid mileage at $.575 per mile. The issue is that my employer contracts me out on a day rate, and also charges the client I am working for $1.50 a mile. Can they legally make a profit from the use of my personal vehicle? This seems to me, at the least, unethical, and at worst illegal. Can anyone out there give me some guidance, please?

    1. I am very interested to know if you have come to a legal conclusion to this. I, as well as a few co-workers are going thru the same shenanigans as you described.

      1. Uber employees are 1099 so they are considered differently (independent). Uber, Lyft and companies like them actually avoid legal issues by having 1099 employees.

    2. It’s interesting to see how you compute the kickback on mileage. You state that it is the difference between the IRS standard rate ($0.545 in 2018) and the rate paid by the employer ($0.30 in your example). This actually is not the kickback rate. That amount can only be determined by actual employee expenditures . The IRS standard rate contains an amount per mile for depreciation. Since depreciation on an automobile occurs whether a car is driven or not, paying an employee a rate of $0.30 a mile would cover actual expenses.

      1. I emailed the Department of Labor about this to hopefully clarify the issue after going over all their literature and not finding any specifics on the method of determining the kickback. It seems to me that requiring actual expenses to calculate the kickback would result in the majority of employees not being able to determine the kickback since most don’t get reimbursed (or claim on their taxes) based on actual expenses.

        For example, as an average person, going off the IRS rate, how would you find out that you’re giving your employer a kickback and dropping below the minimum wage? Let’s say you drive a 100 miles a week and your employer reimburses $.30 per mile. To figure out if that is enough or not, the employee would have to not only track their mileage (which they should be doing anyway) but save gas receipts, oil change receipts, tire rotation receipts, etc, none of which is required to claim the mileage deduction. So in order to figure out if you’re dropping below minimum wage, you need exact records, but in order to claim the deduction, you don’t.

        Let me know if you have more information on the topic and, if not, we’ll await the DOL’s response.

        1. Question: We have an employee that was allowed to work from home, our business only has 1 office and it’s 2hours away from where he lives. He is an hourly paid employee and usually travels to the office once per month, he is paid hourly for his travel, my question is should he be paid mileage and meals? I think since it’s his choice to work from home and the office is his home base, he is commuting to work just like any employee going and coming to work. We don’t pay them mileage or meal reimbursements. Just need clarification on this.

        2. Do you know, as you’ve clearly found some solid info already, of anything in labor or tax law regarding part time remote employees and mileage-depreciation reimbursement? My somewhat recent employer states the organization is required by “US tax law” to reimburse for mileage I incur for biz only from and back to the office, whereas I was hired and work as a 20 hr/wk, mostly remote staff member. I’ve already found that there is no law requiring reimbursement, except in CA. But if there’s anything solid to anchor my argument to (that claiming actual mileage instead of falsely reporting (and under representing my actual mileage by a lot) my starting points and end points is not fair and shouldn’t be required of me), I’d be pleased to see it. Thank you in any case.

        3. Actually this is UNTRUE. The Federal government uses a MINIMUM number for mileage that includes maintenance, repair, insurance, fuel and all other incidentals as well as depreciation. Generally the US number is behind by several years.
          As an example a friend kept meticulous records. He drove his vehicle for 10 years. He told me the number of miles at sale of the vehicle and I told him exactly how much he spent for maintenance insurance etc. by using the then current mileage rate. remember that that rate had increased slowly for 10 years but the total he spent was the total miles times the current rate. he was amazed that I was within a few dollars. The amount was the net cost for everything AFTER sale of the vehicle!
          So, the mileage rate is actually LESS than the true current cost (depending upon the exact vehicle to could be a LOT less). Therefore if one is receiving .35 per mile and the current rate is .58, then they are paying their employer .23 per mile to drive. At 60 MPH that is 13.80 per hour. Therefore one would have to earn minimum wage PLUS 13.80 per hour to be paid minimum wage. Also minimum wage is per HOUR not averaged (one can not be paid 3 per hour then 11 per hour and average to minimum wage, that is illegal). Therefore ANY hours paid less are underpaid and must be paid to minimum wage.

        4. I work for a company that has me traveling roughly 1,700 miles per month not including my standard commute. For 4 years I was paid around $.58 cents per mile. Starting this year Jan. 2020 they switch me to a FAVR program which, equates to $.33 cents per mile and as a result I’m essentially receiving a pay cut of about $420/mo. My question is how much does the COMPANY get reimbursed for when writing its employees miles off of their taxes? Are they pocketing what they are taking from me? How is this legal?

          1. First off, unfortunately your employer can choose to reimburse you any rate. The IRS rate is just a guideline that they can follow. Of course, if you live in a state with specific mileage reimbursement rules, then your employer might have to reimburse you for every mile that you travel, using a certain rate. Your company’s tax write off for taxes will be dependent on how many miles they submit to the IRS. They will have to keep records of each mile driven and multiply that by the new mileage rate ($0.57/mile). As of 2017, employees can no longer report mileage for tax purposes, so it’s up to your employer to reimburse you for the miles you drove.

          2. Firstly, thanks so much for responding to my questions.

            I’m positive they would be reporting all of the miles that I drive, roughly 1,700 a month, on their taxes.

            So, to be clear, I’m using my car, getting $.33/mi in reimbursement from my company and then they are turning around and being reimbursed $.57/mile for my driving? In other words they receive a $.24 profit on each mile I drive?

          3. Also, the company is Swire Coca-Cola. They have hundreds of drivers on this plan and there are about 10 people on my specific team that are being forced into this new “FAVR” policy and we all drive roughly 1,700 miles per month. So I’m not sure if having that many drivers effects tax write off for miles.

          4. I have quite quite a few questions I move to Dallas Texas area last year and it was not in my contract or explain to me that I would be driving my vehicle to and from off sites job sites since I’ve been working I put at least 40,000 miles on my personal vehicle have change tires oils and a lot of other maintenance. what is the law or what can I do in regards to this since I have to drive my vehicle at least 100 miles combined two-way or over 100 miles one way. What information can you provide and what can I do.

          5. Here is an overview of the mileage reimbursement in Texas: According to Sec. 660.041. “REIMBURSEMENT REQUIREMENT. (a) A state employee is entitled to be reimbursed as provided by this subchapter for the employee’s use of a personally owned or leased motor vehicle.

            (b) A state employee may not be reimbursed under this subchapter for an expense other than mileage, tolls, and parking.

            (c) A state employee may not be reimbursed for mileage incurred in traveling between the employee’s residence and place of employment in a personally owned or leased motor vehicle unless the travel:

            (1) is necessitated by extraordinary circumstances; and

            (2) occurs outside the hours the employee is working.”

    3. I work for dominos and I get 31 cents a mile but the customer pays 3.23 for the delivery. They make a profit from my vehicle so yes it’s legal but they are sued alot for underpaying drivers all the time

        1. Your boss can pay you as much or as little as they want for miles. The IRS allows for over 50 cents per mile without you being tax on the reimbursement as income.

      1. I work for a merchandiser company in California I travel to different stores daily although I am reimbursed for travel time am I entitled to mileage

        1. Hi Matt, this is a good question. Since this isn’t specifically a comment on the article, may I suggest you pose your question on the Kingmaker Society, our new community forum? You’ll get an answer there. Here’s the link:

  2. if an employee drove over 2000 miles for us in 2016, would I be correct they are eligible for over $1000 reimbursement?

    1. Jane Doe,
      The IRS rate is .54 cents, so 2000 miles is $1,080.00. What the article states is that the Employer does NOT have to reimburse. If he/she doesn’t reimburse the Employee, then the Employee can take their mileage as a deduction when filing 2016 Income Taxes.

  3. My employer is a homecare agency. I make $10.00 per hour. We get paid biweekly and I typically work 94 hours per pay period. My round trip mileage for work is usually around 50 miles per day. I am not reimbursed for mileage. I use my personal vehicle and spend on average $90-$120 on gas per pay period. Are they obligated to pay up?

    1. Unfortunately they are not required to pay you, unless you’re in CA. CA has a few other laws that pay caregivers between shifts… stuff like that.

    2. You might be able to be reimbursed for mileage or time if you travel between job sites. Example:
      7:00 a.m. — travel to first job. (you do not get paid mileage.)
      12:00 p.m. — travel from first job to second ( you might be allowed time or mileage)
      2:00 p.m. — travel from second job to third (you might be allowed time or mileage)
      4:00 p.m. — travel from third job to residence (no reimbursement)

  4. I just started this new job in the oil field. They do not pay us hourly till we arrive on job site. What we do is meet and the yard, then we drive out in a company vehicle to the job location, and we do not get paid till we arrive on site and clock in. It’s a hour commute(both ways) from our yard to job location,and we are missing two hours of pay. Is that legal for them to do that?

    1. It’s hard to say for sure. Your drive could be considered car pooling and in that sense is a benefit. Check with an employment lawyer in your state to be sure.

    2. IF they RQUIRE the crew to meet at the yard first, they have to pay you the windshield time. IF they tell you to meet at the rig/workover/drill/battery/etc. site, they are not.

    3. If the job site is in a different city then where you first all meet up they have to consider you clocked in from the time you originally meet up. The dept of labor says travel time is absolutely required to be paid. Also if you only stay at the first job site an hr and then go to another your travel time is considered on the clock. They do not have to pay you to drive to work or for your drive home unless it’s an unusual day/ wk etc and the first place you’re going that day is in a different city than where you normally meet up. Then the employer can choose to pay your travel time from your normal meeting spot to the “special occasion work place” or from your house to the “special occasion workplace” and they must do so for your travel home if you work there all day or your travel to other job sites. They must pay you both time and mileage for work outside of the city you normally report to bc it’s considered out of town travel. I actually had to fight my employeer on getting paid when they asked me to fill in for a manager that was out of town at another office 3 hrs from where I normally worked on a daily basis. Don’t give up. Report them to the Dept of Labor if you have to & of they try to fire or do anything to you about it you could easily sue. Don’t let an uneducated or “cheap” boss just tell you no if you know you should be paid.

      1. The only exception would be 1099 workers bc you’re considered “contractors”. Then it’s at the employers discretion.

    4. That’s illegal as soon as you take off from that company vehicle from their warehouse or what you should get paid starting that time.

  5. My previous employer will not return my phone calls, texts or emails. It took me a month and a half to receive my final paycheck upon termination. However, I still have not received mileage nor expenses for any of the time I was there (8 months). I work in healthcare as a sales person. My offer letter clearly states I am to be paid for mileage. Expenses are a given in my industry. Verbally I was always told we’ll get it taken care of or I’m sorry we switched banks, payroll companies. If this was just a couple hundred dollars then no biggie but it totals over $6,000. Any suggestions on who I should contact for help?

    1. Your first stop should actually be your local Labor & Industries office (or your state’s equivalent). They may be able to collect from your employer before any attorneys need to get involved. If not, THEN hire an attorney.

  6. My son recently lefft a full-commission sales poison after 18 months. The employer was a general contractor repairing storm damaged roofs, roof components, windows and siding. All construction was done by subcontractors. The job was much more than sales. It included studying and testing to become an independent insurance adjuster, property inspections to determine insurable damage, project estimating using company software consistent with insurance companies, sales and contracting with the client, determining construction maters and quantities, procuring the materials, scheduling and overseeing contractors during construction, procuring, picking up and delivering supplemental materials as needed, final inspections, negotiating payment from insurance companies, and collecting payment from clients. He was only paid commission on projects making a target profitability after 10% overhead charges by the company. He needed to buy a pickup truck to carry equipment and materials to do his job. He was not paid any mileage, even though many jobs were 100 miles away in a different city. Is there any requirement to pay mileage for personal use when there is no salary? Sadly, he is now in a position to repay thousands of dollars on draws against commission provided during his training and early employment. Seasonality and project profitability did not enable him to pay living expenses and the draws. If he is owed back mileage he could break even. (Certainly his earnings would have been less than minimum wage had he been paid wages.)

    1. Hi Harry. I would speak to an employment lawyer about this. Between the low commission and the excess of mileage expenses there could be a problem.

      1. In California : My employer has two offices, every Tuesday we are required to attend a mandatory meeting. After the meeting I’m required to travel 10 miles to the other location to do my shift. Question is do i add those mileage to my since I use my own car?

        1. I’m making 20.00 hr and I drive my own vehicle to go back and forth to work . This week I’m going from home to work 51 mils one way and 51 mils back for total of 102 mils a day . How does that work for me?

          1. Hi, there. Under IRS regulation, your employer is not responsible to pay you reimbursements for mileage when you travel from your residence to your work station and vice versa. Your state, however, may have reimbursement regulations. I would suggest checking this with your local labor board.

          2. You say this week so I assume this is not your normal place of work. If that is the case I do believe you can get a tax break on the drive. Look up what you can get a tax break on for this.

    2. Harry
      Did your son find resolution? I am in a similar situation and would like to know if it’s worth pursuing.

    1. Right. So you’re wondering if the same issue applies for salaried employees. Hourly employees need to make at least minimum wage, free and clear of expenses. This is why, even though the federal government doesn’t mandate mileage reimbursement, sometimes employers must reimburse in order to keep their employees above minimum wage.

      For salaried employees, there isn’t as much written about it so I cannot say 100% if the same rule holds. But “free and clear” is mentioned on the DOL document I linked to with regard to salaried employees. While it doesn’t mention mileage specifically, I can see how someone might be able to make a case for it.

      Read the definition – first couple paragraphs. And then read this section: What does “exclusive of board, lodging or other facilities” mean?

      1. Thanks for your input. That is exactly the way I see it. I understand there is no case law out there or an opinion letters from the Wage and Hour Division that address this specifically, but logic tells me since a guaranteed salary is treated the same way as the federal minimum wage, then kickback (in regards to mileage, etc) is not allowed when it comes to exempt employees. Of course it will take an employee to sue an employer in court to have employers realize this. Thanks.

        1. You’re welcome. I’m glad you brought it up. I agree with you. I bet it would be treated the same way as hourly. With the DOL, a lot of specifics like these don’t get fully explicated until someone gets sued. Better to be safe than sorry and take the logical route, rather than the ignorance route.

      2. Hi.
        Quick question?
        I live in California and I am employed as a non exempt employee. Our office is considered our home because we transmit and upload computer updates.
        We travel to different job sites in California ..
        Are we suppose to get paid once we get behind the wheel to jo. Sites?

        Commute in LA is over 1.5 hours one way on most drives..

        Please clarify

        1. Hi Steve,

          Home is not generally considered the first job site of the day, even if you do some work there. Since you’re in California, though, it would be worth checking with an employment lawyer. The rules could be different.

  7. Can I offer 2 different mileage reimbursement rates for my employees? I want to give my sales team a higher rate since they are always on the road and others a lower rate since they do not use their cars often.

    1. That’s probably fine, depending on which state you’re in, but it’s always good to check with an employment lawyer.

  8. My employer reimburses our cell phone on our pay check. It is only $40, but it is being taxed with the rest of my wages….is this ok?

  9. My employer gives me an auto allowance of $500 a month which is taxed on my paycheck and a company paid toll tag and gas card but does not pay for any maintenance. I typically drive 3000-4000 miles a month for business purposes, is the company following the federal guidelines properly?

    1. Federal laws don’t require employers to reimburse mileage unless that expense causes an employee to drop below the minimum wage. Track your mileage, multiply it by the IRS mileage rate, then subtract the amount your employer is giving you.

      1. What I pay for my health insurance is less than what the business would have to pay for me on their plan. It has been agreed that they will reimburse me what I pay for my health insurance. They have stared taxing me on that amount they pay me when I get my paycheck. I pay for my insurance with money that has already been taxed. Are they right in taxing my reimbursement?

        1. Hi Donna,

          I am not sure in this case. This kind of thing may not fall under regular business expenses. I would advise talking to a tax pro about it.

        2. I’m working for a property management company and use my own truck to repair roofs on their buildings they were paying me a truck allowance different people are taking over and now they want to pay me by mileage there are some days that I’m at one building all day

  10. I just recently was hired to install flooring homes. When I was hired, I was told I’d be paid my hourly rate and for mileage as well… I also had been using my vehicle to haul material to and from job sites… After my 5 day on the job, I left for lunch and returned as usual. After 30 min of being back to work, another employee began screaming in Spanish and was frantic and unable to understand.
    I quickly ran outside of the home we were working on and immediately noticed smoke coming from my personal truck parked on the street.. I then ran to the neighbors yard and proceeded to hose the truck down.. I managed to put it out myself.. Fire dept. showed up and asked a few questions. I paid to have it towed away and cleaned up the terrible mess left on the street… The home owner felt horrible about this and is sympathetic to my situation.. So my truck which is paid off but only has liability insurance isn’t covered by my insurance company. Is my employer possibly responsible since I was using my truck for the scope of work asked of me? It happened at the job site during work hours with a truck bed of material just pulled from the house we were working on… How the fire started is unclear nor was there an investigation into it.. Where do Igo from here. Is time against me? It’s the only truck I had. Insult to injury.. I had 2k in cash in my truck which was going to my new apartment for rent that very night. I don’t expect to get any returning that but my truck also had all my tools in it. Tools I use to work with every day.. I’m out off transportation to work, I’m out of tools to complete my work and I’m still in a living transition.. any ideas would be appreciated.. thank you in advance…

    1. Hi Jason,

      Call a local lawyer and ask if they or any lawyers they know have time to answer your question for free. Many lawyers do some amount of pro bono work per year and could at least take the time to give you some answers. I wish you the best.

  11. Hi I’m a care worker I work roughly 25 hours aweek I don’t get mileage but get the minimum wage surely this is illegal?

    1. You could go over your records with a lawyer and see if there is a minimum wage violation going on.

  12. well i hv spoken to unison and they say there is, so he has contacted them just waitin on a response to see what they say. This wil be interesting..

  13. Well this has probably been answered in totality many of times by now. But I am going to ask here anyway.

    I work for a company in Ct and this is also where my taxable home is as well. They have me on a long term project in Pennsylvania. Every two weeks I go home to see my family. My company saves money on this transaction by renting me a house in Pennsylvania “The monthly output for them this way is far less than a hotel room.”.

    Is my mileage between my long term project location and my taxable home reimbursable?

    I ask this because recently I had my 2016 taxes done and the accountant told me that those miles are not reimbursable.

    To make matters worse… My employer is charging the client for mileage and not paying me that full amount or even slightly close to government travel rate ($.18 pm)



  14. The situation is that I work with special needs children. I have to pick them up 30min before my shift and spend 30min after returning them home. My employer only pay me my hourly wage for my schedualed shift not the time spent picking up and dropping off. They only pay .32 cent for milage. Is this right in Michigan?

    1. I am not familiar with the laws in Michigan but it sounds like the pick up and drop off is part of the job and so should be paid at least minimum wage. You can check with a lawyer to be sure.

  15. I work for a catering company in South Carolina, paid hourly, and often required to use my vehicle to drive to events (sometimes 30-50 miles one way), as well as transport other employees. Are they required to pay me a mileage rate or just whatever they feel like paying me?

    1. Hi Elle,

      It depends on your state’s laws and whether the kickback drops you below minimum wage.

  16. Hello, I am in the oil inspection and surveying industry and i use my vehicle
    30k Miles a year
    Company pays 0.50 A mile.
    15k$ a year mileage reimbursement.


    But in reality it is not.
    My truck (which i need a truck for transporting samples) gets 300miles on a tank.
    60.00$ to fill my truck up.

    30,000 (miles driven a year for company)
    60$x100= 6000$ (Cost 1 tank fuel x 100fills a year = 6000$

    15000$ – 6000$ = 9000$ (Mileage Reimbursment)

    This does not add in that i need new tires every 25K miles (800$ Set of 4).
    Also oil change every 7k Miles (100$ x 4 Oil changes = 400$ )
    Not to mention wear & tear of axles, suspension and other from driving on unpaved dirt, pothole refinery roads.

    QUESTION IS : Should i try and get my company to reimburse me for tires, oil, fuel, and maintance ?

    They seem to thing mileage reimbursment should cover all of that AND ALSO Depreciation.

    What are your Thoughts ?

    1. Also the whole minimum wage theory is out the window fore i make much more then min wage in my state.

    2. Mileage reimbursement covers gas, tires, oil change, wear and tear, etc. Your company reimburses about 4 cents per mile less than the suggested federal rate. According to your calculations above, you have $7600 left over for repairs.

  17. Should i be reimburse for mileage from home to my first assignment when my first assignment is not to the office?

    I live in Georgia

  18. I work at a small cafe 70 miles from my home. I’m paying for fuel out of my pocket and my boss is reimbursing me on my check. However, the reimbursement is being taxed. I already paid tax for the gas! Is this legal to tax me twice for fuel?

    1. It’s unfortunate that he’s taxing the reimbursement but it’s not illegal.

  19. When I received my first check stub I had noticed my .25¢ mileage pay was being taxed with my hourly pay. I see that as being doubled taxed, once at the pump and a higher tax mixed with my gross. I mentioned that to my employer and she stated ” I was seeing it wrong for it is a non taxable pay”. I had told her it is being taxed and showed her. She said she’ll take care of it and have it no taxed. That has been over 6 checks now and it’s still being taxed. I mentioned it many times and now she just blows me off. Why would she want it taxed? I’m spending more out of pocket because of that. Anyone know why?

  20. I work for a housecleaning company in Ca. I usually only work one job a day but I have to drive all over the place. Is she required to pay travel reimbursement for me driving to and from my jobs? What if I drive to Wear the office before my job to pick up supplies and does she have to pay it if I travel to the office before I go home? What if she told me she pays travel reimbursement when I was hired, has paid it to me on every check then last week decided she didn’t like the way I did something so with out warning didn’t add the travel reimbursement money to my check and said she wasn’t paying it into I did it right…. Is that legal? She didn’t tell me. I found out when I read my paystub. Oh and my tips weren’t there either. When I asked her she said she didn’t get them in on time &they’d be on next check. All of this with no notification from her until I asked her when I was already paid (or not paid)

  21. I work for a construction company. I was told by a crew member that since we are on job site during the week and our paychecks are in the office, if I pick up my check at the end of the work day on PayDay, I can clock out after picking up my paycheck and not when I stop working at the jobsite. It’s typically less than 5 miles away. It doesn’t sound right to me, but I want to be sure this is correct.

    1. Hi Paulina,

      I don’t think this is correct. There is nothing in the FLSA that I have seen stating that paycheck pickup is part of work. While there are laws that govern when and how much employees must be paid, there doesn’t seem to be any treatment on how and where. I believe that picking up the paycheck is the employee’s responsibility. If you want to be extra sure, you would need to talk to an employment lawyer.

    2. Let me make sure I understand this correctly. You are asking if they can legally give you extra time on the clock (to drive to the office once a week and pick up your paycheck)? They can legally give you all the extra time you want. If your employer is willing to keep you on the clock for paycheck pickup, take the extra hours!



  23. My husband works for a contracting company for cable. They make him pay for his gas but they reemberse him 10%. He doesn’t get paid hourly, he’s paid by job but they give him trouble calls which is $15 a job. This week they charged him for more gas than he used and didn’t give him the 10%. He’s. even having them put the gas in the company truck and they will take it out of his check except for the 10%. Is that legal? If not what should we do about it?

  24. Hello, I can’t tell if your article refers to contractors or not? I am considered a independent contractor with our company that sees approximately 169 clients and drive approximately 3000 miles per month. I spend about $75 per week in gas and $45 every other month for oil changes. I have been getting very frustrated because my employer is only paying me up to $250 per month for mileage. When I asked how the mileage is calculated, I’m told that 20 miles per person is subtracted from the miles even though there may be more than one person in the same location. Then, the rest is calculated at .30 cents per mile. Is this right? I know the employer doesn’t have to pay mileage but is this a fair practice? Thanks

    1. Hi Angela,

      The employer doesn’t actually have to pay mileage for independent contractors so anything would be ok. Keep meticulous track of your mileage and deduct it at the end of the year. That is a lot of miles! Just be sure to subtract out the amount that was reimbursed.

  25. I have an unusual situation. My normal commute to work is 18 miles from home, but once a month, I’m required to work a Saturday at a location that’s 50 miles from home.

    Is my employer required to pay me mileage for the additional miles I drive when I work a Saturday?

  26. Curious about my situation. My employer has said that even though I’m working from my “home office” most days, that on the days that I have to go to his house or the warehouse, that those become the “place of business” for that day. So, I’m wondering, since they don’t *have* to pay me for mileage, is there anything wrong with me just logging that time driving as work hours? Just hoping that I could have *some* leg to stand on in claiming compensation for my time and personal car/mileage.
    Also, seems that since I’m healthy & not a homeowner with lots of interest to deduct, there’s really no point in deducting my mileage at the end of the year?

    1. Hi Jerry,

      It is pretty reasonable for the place of employment to change. Many employees have a different work site every day. The employer is not responsible for paying wages or mileage for commute.

  27. I work from 10:00am-6:30 I’m at a community based organization. So I travel a lot however to get to go to my office from home it only takes me 5 minutes. Here is the thing if I have a client meeting an hour and half away from my office and the meeting ends like at 5:10pm and traffic is heavy and I won’t make it back to the office at 6:30 due to traffic. But If i don’t go bck to the office my company won’t pay me the drive time at least till 6:30 so they’ll clock me out at 5:10! Is that illegal I feel like I’m getting ripped off because they don’t want to pay me at least until 6:30 even though it takes me longer to get home or to the office due to traffic. (L.A traffic is no joke ) FYI even if I go back to the office they won’t pay me because they don’t approve overtime

    1. Hi Ilse,

      That’s a tough one to answer. I would suggest asking a lawyer. I can see how the argument for or against paying you for that time could work. You are saying you have to go back to the office after seeing your last client. Essentially, your employer is saying you should just commute home, in which case they wouldn’t need to pay you because you don’t have to be paid for your commute. Can you support your argument that you have to go back to the office before going home for the night?

  28. My daughter works as a bail bondsman. She answers phones and promotes biz. Is salaried. Drives their truck for her job. They make her pay them for gas put on their gas card originally. She had to fork over $650. for one month of gas. She does NOT take home that much. To complicate things, the company she works for are her very good “friends”.
    This seems very dishonest to me…like they are really taking advantage of her.
    What do you think? This is in Michigan.
    Lead me in right direction if needed too, thanks.

    1. Hi Simone,

      It sounds like the company has the process backwards! Employers typically reimburse employees for gas, not the other way around. But if the truck is used for personal purposes, it can be a valid deduction.

      There are a couple of things to note:

      1. When employees pay for gas for work purposes, it’s called a kickback. Kickbacks cannot force an employee to drop below minimum wage. So, your daughter needs to track her mileage to show how many miles are driven for work and how many for personal.
      2. Legitimate over-payment deductions cannot present a hardship. So even if your daughter owed the company $650, the company cannot legally deduct the entire thing on one paycheck if it will prevent her from paying her bills.

      Basically, what is happening here isn’t standard and isn’t well organized. Your daughter should either quit using the truck for personal purposes and hence never owe any gas to the company or she should keep track of mileage so she knows exactly how much gas she owes.

  29. I am a salaried marketer using my car to do the job! I was told the company would reimburse me $400 monthly for my gas. I I received my paycheck and included was the $400 but they taxed me?! I’m already being taxed for my gas how can my employer tax me again? Isn’t that illegal? I reside in Fl?
    Pls advise!

    1. Hi Ynonne,

      It doesn’t benefit you or your employer to tax you on that. You should talk to them about it so that in the future they can do untaxed expense reimbursements. As far as I know it is not illegal, however.

  30. My daughter cells scissors and she drives over 50,000 mile a year. She works on commission, no reimbursement I think she’s been taking advantage of.

  31. I am a salaried government worker in South Carolina. Does the government have to pay mileage if I use my own vehicle to attend an all-day training? The course extends for several months and meets a couple of times a week. Other employees have company cars.


  32. I have a different situation. I am working as a seasonal worker and came into work Thursday. Thursday they said they were cancelling Sat & Sun shifts but Friday we would be able to come in. Before my shift ended I confirmed we come in Friday and they confirmed “YES!” Friday, I drove 48 miles (one way) and when I got there I was told the shift was cancelled. I never got a call or anything and was told they tried to call people but because the payroll was wrong on over 1000 employees that every time they hung up the phone 10 calls were coming in about their pay issues. Can I charge them the 96 miles as I was never informed of any shift cancellations?

    1. Hi Jennifer,

      I am not sure about the answer to your question. Please check with a lawyer to see if there is any legal action you can take for driving when assured you had work. You also might want to look into getting unemployment for the dates your shifts were cancelled.

  33. I am an independent contractor, paid to take pictures of homes for a real estate agent I work. I also run personal errands for him. Sometimes I drive up to 60 miles a day all over the place. I make 14$ an hour. This year I have racked up 3,000 miles on my car, they don’t pay me gas money, and I am feeling I am getting the raw end of the deal here. I am not sure how much I have spent on gas, but did track my miles and locations for tax purposes equaling about 2,000$ w/ the .54 cents a mile law. I am wondering if he is required to pay me gas money or if this is just how it goes. I hate feeling taken advantage of. Especially when he makes well over 300K a year.

    1. Hi Diane,

      It depends on what state you live in. Reimbursement is not mandatory in most states and situations though. If you and your employer did not have an agreement about mileage reimbursement, then chances are, he doesn’t owe you anything. To be absolutely sure, you could check with a lawyer. If you itemize your deductions, you can get the tax break.

  34. I have a question. I am a salaried employee. I have several work sites. My employer only pays if I travel between work sites in the day, not if I just make a trip to one site and then home at the end of the day. Whatever the location of my first sit is unpaid. I am expected to take supplies from one site to another, sometime having to have these in my car overnight. Can my employer make me transport a car full of supplies if I am not getting paid mileage?

  35. Hi, My company HR manual states we can expense milage after 25 miles one way or 50 miles round-trip. Recently my manager said he has decided not to follow this policy any longer at his own discretion and will no longer approve expense reports for mileage. Is he allowed to go against company policy on his own accord?

  36. Hi. I deliver pizzas in California. My employer only calculates the “to”, but fails to reimburse “total” mileage. Should I be compensated for total mileage driven per shift? It’s quite obvious that we are averaging about 30% compensation of what is being charged per delivery, which kills our tips as it is, and we easily average 5 miles per on a single run.

    1. Amendment…..we are compensated at $1.25 per delivery and on average I fall $15-20 short per shift, as compared to standard mileage rate. On top of that the reimbursement showed up on my tax form in the tip column. How do I get this settled fairly without raising hell with an attorney? I know I’m not making minimum wage with kickbacks and my employer is profiting from this. I spoke to some longtime drivers and one firmly believes the government reimburses you for the difference. People just don’t get it, and of course I’m the one who sees it clearly. I’m not a sheep, I don’t follow, I observe, study and form my own conclusions before I give my own summation. Basically, I’ve been pissing people off for years, why change now?

  37. I have been given mileage reimbursement for 13 years in my current position. I have always considered this a part of my benefits. My employer now is taking away the reimbursement. CAn they do this? I am in NC.

    1. Unless you are under a contract, benefits can change legally. There may be laws in NC surrounding mileage reimbursement so it would be a good idea to contact an employment lawyer about it.

  38. So I am a nurse working through a home care agency as a care manager for an insurance company. I get paid per visit. That’s it. I am driving between 1500-2000 miles a month…all of which I get no compensation for. Just told “oh you can take that off your taxes”. I get no compensation for the time I spend driving either, which some days has been up to 5 hours as my territory is covering 8 counties. I’m really getting upset because all that I bring home almost LESS than what a mileage check for a month would be and I’ve been told that I should calculate .3394 cents per mile driven for wear and tear on my vehicle…which THEN puts me in the negative! I’m supposed to have a meeting with my supervisor to discuss a resolution to keep me from seeking employment elsewhere…so they do not lose their contract with the insurance company as I am the only employee they have working under the contract at this time. So, any suggestions on what my rights are or what NC labor laws say on the subject because I’m ready to walk. What would you suggest to be “fair” to present them with as compensation on my part???

    1. Hi Annie,

      The mileage rate is 54.5 cents per mile. If your employer doesn’t pay for mileage, the mileage is considered a kickback. So track your miles for a month, multiply that by this rate, and you will have the amount of kickback to your employer. Now subtract this from your monthly wages. Is this amount above minimum wage? If it’s not, your employer is violating federal (or maybe state) labor laws.

      As far as what is fair, that’s subjective and I cannot give advice on that.

  39. Hi, I work for a state agency. I am a salaried employee, they have paid my travel ever since I got this position. I was paid from my home base site to the place I visited. Before there wasn’t a problem because I was centrally located however, they moved me 14.6 miles away from the central location.

    Now they are asking me to fill in the travel form with place of departure being the main office, my problem is that there is a 14.6 mile difference. Can I file from my home base site to the main office and then to the place they have asked me to go to. (This would be to my benefit). ie; A to B to C or A to C direct. It seems to me they save money for me to do the A to C trip. But if I read this right they want me to go: A to B (free) then B to C in which case I am out the mileage for 14 miles ($7.81 one way or round trip $15.62).

    I have a call in to the Finance officer to see if they can do that, and if so is everyone being told to fill there forms out the same way.

    I feel my supervisor is retaliating ever since I told her she had broken a discrimination law when she separated a minority group at a workshop into a smaller room away from the general group. Her excuse was that it was an overflow room and they had a TV monitor to watch the opening session. I know the definition of overflow to mean that if you arrived late and there aren’t any places to sit you would go into the overflow room, however, if you are already seated you should not be asked to move to another room simply because you have a translator at your table.

    Your view on these issues. By the way I will be retiring in 5 months after working for 30 years.

  40. My company requires me to be on call. If I get called in I get 1 1/2 hours of travel pay to/from the site. Since I am getting paid to drive in, am I still entitled to mileage pay for using my own vehicle? If I drive the company truck while I am on call, does that change anything?

    1. If you’re in California, you may be entitled to it, but mileage pay is not required by federal law.

  41. Hello, I work as a Residential Manager for a company in Maine. With less than 500 employees I guess it is rather small. The companies model is fairly strange. I work 105 hours a week. Which is a lot but I am paid to sleep. My base pay is 10 dollars an hour, which is minimum wage. As a part of the agreement for my position I am required to provide daily transportation. I am typically reimbursed for mileage. The time frame is insane with reports due on the 5th and checks not typically available until the 27th. However in the last two months I haven’t received a mileage reimbursement and neither have my staff. I was told on four occasions that I would receive a check on the next day. Obviously I have not because I am writing here. With this information I am realizing that I am not being treated fairly because with my expense I do not make minimum wage. Any advice.

  42. My job requires me to return to my place of employment for evening events between six and eight times during the year. Can I deduct the mileage expense for these second trips to work on my taxes? Or, am I entitled to employer reimbursement for this mileage to return in the evening?

    Thank you!

  43. If an employee works for a medical sales company that requires the employee to travel an entire state (ex. Arizona, Tennessee, Mississippi) in their personal vehicle without any type of car allowance or pay back for expenses. In one day, the employee could drive more than 400 mi one way to get to their assigned area. Employee base is $18,000/yr. Gas expense alone would drive them below the minimum wage rate. How does the employee address this with the employer and my guess is the employer is violating federal minimum wage law.

    1. Yes, this definitely sounds like a minimum wage violation. Bringing the idea of a kickback to the employer would be a good first step. They might not understand what they’re doing. If that conversation goes nowhere, taking the case to a lawyer might get the employee the compensation he deserves. (If someone makes so little (after the kickback) they really should find a new job.)

  44. Is there a mandatory time frame a employer must reimburse the mileage? Exp, I filled out my report for May on June 5th and as of today I still have not been reimbursed.

    1. That probably depends on what state you’re in and whether the driving of your personal vehicle would have caused your pay rate to drop below minimum wage. The federal government does not require that mileage be paid unless it serves as a “kickback” that drops the rate below minimum. Some states have their own requirements.

  45. Every day when I leave work I have to drop off mail which is about a half mile out of my way home. When I started I was told to note my time when I left the post office and they would adjust my timecard as well as give me a mileage reimbursement. They kept to what they said until about two months ago and they no longer include my mileage reimbursement through payroll even though I mark it on my timecard. Since the reimbursements have stopped I now deliver work to clients as well as run company errands, all of which I have not been receiving the reimbursement for. Can I keep track of the mileage I have not been reimbursed for and file it with my tax return even though I had been reimbursed in the beginning of the year?

    1. Hi Hannah,

      You can’t claim any miles that you were reimbursed for but you can claim all those you weren’t. Just keep records and claim all the miles that you weren’t reimbursed for.

  46. I work retail for a large corporation, and am paid my state minimum (WA state, $11.25 per hour). Managers and assistant managers, of course, are paid more than minimum wage and are exempt from this law in the case of driving a few miles to make bank deposits. However, I am trying to get more opening shifts to reduce childcare costs, and when I open with a certain assistant manager who does not have a vehicle, I am required to drive to make the bank deposit in the morning. When I asked about possible fuel reimbursement, the store manager said “it is not reimbursed, but if that’s a problem, I won’t schedule you for any more opening shifts”. Since she knows that this is my preferred weekday shift, this very statement seems retaliatory to me. Also, she pointed out that she does not receive mileage reimbursement for making bank deposits. Would it be appropriate to point out that she receives more than minimum wage and therefore is not required to be reccompensed for mileage?

    1. If you just make minimum wage and drive at all for work, that mileage would drop you below the minimum wage. This is true. I wonder how the DOL would handle a case like this, though, since you are not actually required to drive for work. As your manager said, it’s perfectly fine for you to work a shift in which driving isn’t necessary. I really don’t know how this case would be handled legally.

  47. My husband works for a company that is contracted by a co-op. He was recently told that it was mandatory that he travels 3 hours to work out of state for another co- op. He will be paid time and half but not get paid for the six hours of time that will be spent driving. Is it legal that he doesn’t get paid for the drive time?

  48. I work for instacart and sometimes there’s absolutely no hours available in the region I desire which is salt lake city. So what I’ll do is drive out to park city, Tooele, or Utah County to try to pick up some orders.
    I was under the impression they have to give me an hourly guarantee but there isn’t one. I drove 150 miles since last night and will be reimbursed for none of it.
    How is this legal?

  49. Hi I work a split shift as a caregiver I work 8:30-12 noon then I come back and work a shift at the same home 4:30-8pm. I travel 34 miles 1 way in 1 day its 2 round trips and my job no longer pays mileage they stopped pay it about 2 years ago can I claim the mileage for the 2 round trips a day in my personal car

  50. I am being audited for my work/job expense deductions. The IRS is not allowing the deductions and wants a letter from my employer stating that I paid for the items necessary to do it job as a home care nurse–laptop computer, cell phone, vehicle expenses, malpractice insurance, auto insurance, wifi at home, printer/copier/fax, blood pressure cuff, thermometer, stethoscope–and my employer outright refuses to write me a letter stating that I was not supplied with these things nor did I get reimbursed for them by the company. I laid out a ton of money to do my job and refuse to eat those expenses because I don’t get reimbursed for them. I asked the owner of the company twice for a letter–he refused the first time & wrote me a very nasty email the second time, outright refusing to do it. Can he do that? I live in New York, if that matters. All I need is that statement from him & the IRS will allow the deductions. Do you think he’s playing games with the company’s taxes since he is refusing to write me that letter? It’s not like it’s untrue—I pay for everything myself (as do all the nurses) and we get nothing back from the company. Is he legally required to write something like that if I request it?

    1. Question, you work for a international company as a human resource manager. You are salary but your job requires you to meet employees at different site locations, and requires you to do site inspections, per your boss. You work 60, 70, 80 hours per week. The company pays mileage, but when the company is hurting financially, they want to try and hold back on paying mileage, they don’t but they make comments suggesting that you stop turning in mileage until their bottom line improves. This seems like the problem for the company, not me. They require me to go from place to place. This is not California, but lets say it’s Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, or Florida, could the company behave in this manner and or should I continue as business as usual collecting my mileage? I charge $0.58 per mile IRS standard. My car is new and every so often the light comes on that it needs to be serviced, and I pay for that. I pay for gas, oil, fluids, tires, wear and tear. I pay $450.00 for my car. I travel 500 to 1,200 miles per month. I am not trying to beat the company but at this rate, my car will be junk in a few years. I am asking for someone very close to me, I don’t want to see them taken advantage of.

      1. Hi, there. The IRS sets the mileage reimbursement rate for employees who drive their own Privately Owned Vehicles (POV), but this rate is a guideline for employers and a tax deduction opportunity for employees. Employers can choose whether or not they want to pay employees more or less than the IRS rate. Employers do not have to pay for charges for repairs, depreciation, replacements, grease, oil, antifreeze, towage and similar expenses, gasoline, insurance, state and federal taxes. I’m not sure what state you are in, but states have their own Privately Owned Vehicle mileage reimbursement guidelines/laws, so you’ll want to check with your state labor board to see what they are supposed to cover. In some cases, companies aren’t required to pay for mileage at all. I would double check just to be sure!

  51. As a catering company, we have a main location (kitchen) that we have events at, but we also cater offsite events. (1)Sometimes we have employees go to the directly to the offsite event and home. (2)Other times, we have them go to the offsite location and then to the main location to help clean dishes from the event. We do not reimburse mileage to go to the offsite and directly back home. Is this correct? What about if the employee goes from the offsite location to the main location and then home? We want to be fair and pay them any mileage that is owed. Minimum wage is not a factor.

    1. Hi Debora,

      If employees are driving from the main location to the offsite location, they are working. They should be paid an hourly wage. They may also need to be reimbursed mileage for this depending on which state you’re in.

  52. If the job I applied for is in a different city and they require me to train about 40 miles away from where I originally applied do should I get paid for the mileage that I travel to the training site which is about 45 miles out, and will not be my work site after training is done?

  53. My name is Brian I am a maintenance man at 177 unit apartment complex I use my own vehicle for everything for appliances for parts for service running people around 5 days a week my employer only gives me $20 for my vehicle usage I feel that is very very low when I was asking 750 a day which is only 37 50 a week that that $20 doesn’t cover anything but gas it doesn’t cover any of the wear and tear that I’m subject to of constant driving this truck back and forth turning it on and off loading it up put stuff inside is there any law or stating that I need to get more because if he had to buy a vehicle for me to use it would cost him a lot more than $20 a week can anybody help me out with some input

  54. Hi, I am a lawyer and I work remotely from home. My company is stating that the miles that I drive from home to my appointments (depositions, trials) personal miles. Isn’t there a law that says there are a certain number of miles during a trip for business are not reimbursable for remote workers, not the entire trip? Like maybe the first 15 miles going for business and the 15 miles going home are not reimbursable ,but all the other miles should be considered as business related not personal.

  55. I work for a company that takes taxes out of my checks. I have to pay all of my expenses(gas, mileage, car maintenance, hotels, etc). I do not get reimbursed. I have been told this is illegal but cannot find where to confirm that information. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  56. Hi
    Re: Employee Travel Expenses
    I am curious if you have knowledge of the rules of travel expenses related to workplace reimbursement. Occasionally I drive my personal car from home to visit a client and it can be expensed. I work from home one day per week. My employer requires that I calculate total miles traveled that day minus my regular commuting miles. This applies even If I drive from home without going to office. I only am reimbursed $0.42 cents per mile. My employer charges client $0.54 per mile.
    Here is where I am confused. My normal commute to office is 20 miles. My commute to visit client from home is 50 miles. My commute to visit client from work is also 50 miles. My employer states that if I drive to client from home, I cannot charge 50 miles, I must charge (50 miles-20 mile = 30 miles).
    That just seems odd to me. Is this correct?
    Alan Uminski

  57. I live in Ohio. I went from a hourly employee with expenses to a salary contract employee, and now I’m told per the bookkeeper, I should not be paid for my expenses. I drive my own car, pay for parking and tolls, as well as gas . Use of my cell phone for GPS. I still waiting for my expenses from October to be paid to me. Being a contract worker should I be paid expenses or justn look for another job?

  58. I have a question about medical transport drivers, i been working 2 years as a driver for a company that provides a vehicle. I was making .30 cent a mile for each patient I transport, and gas was paid by the company I drive for. , they accused me of stealing gas and said I had to pay back what fuel I used. I looked into some gas transaction and it didn’t make sense. They looked into it and got some charges disputed by the gas company we fuel with. Instead of firing me I had to sign an agreement that stated my pay was raised to .50cent a miles and what fuel I use each week I had to pay. thinking it was a better deal I agreed but now I left with lil to no pay. I talked to my supervisor about the vehicle I use to transport uses lot of gas and requested a new one that is good on gas. I make about 1000 miles each week on transporting patient not including miles I have to drive to go and pick up and drive home after dropping off patients. We is double the miles on my part. I need to know if there is a way I can work out an agreement with my boss for gas charges. It takes most of my check, I feel like im being ripped off by the company. . with all the driving I do, i don’t make anything. I drive patients for them but have to pay for fuel myself. They benefit off me and I’m stuck with nothing. What could I do?

  59. I have a question in regards of my husband and his employer. He works maintenance in apartment buildings, he currently is now manager. He uses our family vehicle to drive to all locations needing work and picks up materials. So he drives around A LOT and has put lots of milage and gas costs into our family vehicle. The vehicle has had minor damage also from materials etc. He gets paid hourly and the time still runs when driving around for job duties. Another thing he uses his personal phone for contact from tenants needing repairs etc. Is there a way he can use a tax exemption? or should his Boss be paying him extra or compensate?

  60. I work for a delivery company from Connecticut. They pay 12 dallors a delivery even if it is 50 miles away. After doing 5 deliveries for the day- 60 dallors. 110 miles driven equals30 dallors in gas.They don’t reimburse gas mileage. Are they braking the Law? Can I report them

  61. At my job we work from home. My employer is having us come in to the office for “training” (we are doing nothing different them what we do at home) . I have a coworker that lives 4 hours away they are making her come in to the office for a week. They knew where she lived when they hired her so she didnt relocate after the fact. She will be out of pocket for a rental car, as she does not have a vehicle, she will be out of pocket hotel cost and drop in day care for an infant of $95 a day. My employer is not willing to compensate at all. After all is said and done she will basically be paying to work her expenses are more then her wages. What right does she have here.

  62. 2 questions. 1st, Can a company charge a Client for milage reimbursementmet more than they are paying the employee? For example, my company charges a client .58 a mile but only pays me .28 a mile this is tax free so are they just getting .30 for every mile i put on my personal vehicle? And 2nd
    Question is i am not on the clock while driving so i might work for 4 hours on one case then drive an hour or 2 off the clock to work another 4 hours how do i figure the kickback on that? Any input would be appreciated thank you.

  63. Peggy, I am working as a independent contractor driver delivering groceries for a major mega super center. My company is from Connecticut. They pay 12dallors a order.I work part-time. Example. Last week I made 10 deliveries. Put 30 dallors in my gas tank. Made 120 dallors for the week. Worked 25 hers. My company does not pay gas reimbursement. That pay comes out to below minimum wage. Do I have a case ? How are they getting away with this?

    1. As an independent contractor you are your own boss and you are paid by the other contracting party (not your boss) per the contract terms. There is no “minimum profit” protection for parties to a business contract. Knowing how to price your service is a must-learn skill when you run your own business. If you agreed to a money losing contract this time, you will know better the next time when you negotiate a contract.

  64. I work in renewable energy, for a smaller solar company, they reimburse $0.32 a mile. I’ve brought this topic up several times to my supervisor and out department manager, all I’ve gotten out of them is, “Thanks for the feedback. I see your point. While other companies do offer higher mileage reimbursement, they usually supplement with lower wages. We have reviewed the policy recently and don’t see it changing this year unless there is a significant gas hike.”

    They don’t take into account depreciation or maintenance. I’ve driven 37,000 miles from October of 2017 to April of 2019 for this company.

    I recently brought up the fact that the IRS has increased the amount that can be claimed from $0.55 in 2018 to $0.58 in 2019. I also brought up the topic of not covering depreciation, and I received the following reply from my department manager, “I’ll have our CFO review it again, but I don’t anticipate a change in the immidiate.”

    1. I’m sorry that you feel like you haven’t been given direction. Your employer can actually choose whether or not they want to give you more or less than the IRS mileage reimbursement rate. They also are not required by law to reimburse you for any charges for repairs, depreciation, replacements, grease, oil, antifreeze, towage and similar expenses, gasoline, insurance, state and federal taxes. Depending on what state you live in, you may be protected by law to get certain reimbursements. I would check with your local labor board.

      1. Hello! I got hired to work at a new location that is planned to open about 7 miles from my home. However, the training is taking place at a store 35 miles away from me, even though they have another location that is only 16 miles from me.

        Initially I was told that after my two week training period they would begin to reimburse me for mileage (because it wasn’t fair for them to invest in my mileage if they weren’t certain I’d stay).

        It’s been about a month and now they are saying that they won’t reimburse me at all because they don’t want to have to reimburse any of the other employees they have since hired.

        I’m under the impression that since the location I have been working at is not my home store and because we are in California, that they would need to pay me the difference in mileage between the stores. I am making minimum wage, so I would definitely fall below that if gas and milage were included. However, I do make tips, so I’m not sure if that would be included in my total wage.

        Am I legally entitled to mileage and/or paid travel time?

        1. Hi, there. Under the IRS, employers are not required to reimburse you for travel from home and to your first office station and vice versa. This means that you will not get compensated when you travel to and from work. In the case of your training, employees are entitled to reimbursement if the training is within city limits of their official work station. However, reimbursement in this case is subject to the review and approval of the manager. If your qualifying expenses are causing you to fall below minimum wage, that is not lawful. The IRS states employees have to earn at least minimum wage, and if you fall under, you have to get reimbursed. Since you are a tipped employee, your tips count towards minimum wage (unless your local laws state otherwise). If you still make minimum wage after earning your tips and incurring expenses, your employer does not have to reimburse you. CA law requires employers to pay for all expenses incurred (for qualifying expenses), but most businesses find it easier to just pay the IRS rate. In your case, if your travel to different work sites after your official work station, you are entitled to reimbursement– just remember that they do not have to reimburse you when you travel to work from your residence.

  65. If I’m asked to attend charitable events for work either volunteering my time and/or attending an actual charitable event is the mileage driven reimbursable as business or charitable? Generally I’ve made zero out of pocket investment in the charity event and am just one of the folks filling the spot for a work chosen cause.

  66. yes i work for a school board .and they use to pay me mileage for using my own vehicle to go get there mail at post office ,for about 13 years ago ,but stopped giving my mileage and still using my own vehicle to go get there mail .i just want to know can they do that.feel free to contact me at 337-523-8056 is that legal.thanks susan

    1. Hi susan, this would actually be a question for your state’s local labor board. Each state has it’s own reimbursement laws, so it would be a good idea to get advice and guidance from them. The FLSA doesn’t regulate reimbursement, they only require that you at least get paid minimum wage. If your expenses are causing your hourly rate to go below minimum wage, something may need to be adjusted.

  67. I work for a company that pays .20 per mile and $200 over 1000 miles or .38 only if under 1000 miles. Normally I drive around 1700 miles a month. Can I keep track of my odometer and during tax time subtract .58 minus .20 I received money for and get the other .38 per mile… In money or tax break? Not sure what to do now so I’m ready during tax time or if I will never get the .58.

  68. Working as an outside salesperson for 11 years, strictly on commission and never received any expense reimbursement for mileage, gas, telephone, etc, company has now decided to offer expense reimbursement. Although strictly on commission, we are paid a flat amount weekly which shows as ‘regular’ on paystub, then once a month, we get ‘commission’ which is anything above the amount we’ve been give for the past 4 weeks. Ex, Each week $500, at the end of the month, commission is $3200, commission would be $1200 ($3200 – ($500×4)). Employee expenses which will be mileage and telephone will be reimbursed, however, it will be taken out of commission pay once a month. Is this legal in LA?

  69. In California, Would an inside/outside commission-based sales employee be required to receive compensation (Minimum Wage? Other?) for time spent away from the office at a multi-day training seminar?

  70. I just started working with a company in which I am a w2 employee and on all commission. The company does not reimburse for expenses, which there are roughly 1000mi week and 1 or 2 overnights. They deduct $ 163 a day for overnights and .55 cents a mile from our pay and give a check for that amount called per diem then the remainder is taxed like normal.
    Is this legal and if so how does that effect as taxes etc?

  71. If I am a salaried employee and my boss is taking my mileage out of my salary, is this illegal?
    For example, If I’m promised 100k a year and drive 13k in mileage, my salary is actually 87k plus 13k in mileage instead of 100k plus 13k in mileage. Is my employer allowed to do this?

  72. Hi I have been working for years and been doing deliveries and never once gotten paid for my gas . Even though I’m clock in don’t they still have to pay me for the gas ?

    1. In most cases your employer does not have to reimburse you for gas usage; however, there are state laws that may override the federal law. The state in which you reside may have laws for reimbursement, so you’ll want to check with your local labor board. If not, then you must follow FLSA guidelines. If your gas expenses are causing your wages to go below minimum wage, your employer must help with reimbursement.

  73. I work for a merchandising company..i travel to different store locations daily.. My work day starts reading emails printing sales orders reviewing instructions and plotting my route for the day. I am hourly not paid milage or drive time from store to store. I drive my own car and easily drive 70 to 100 miles daily. Gas alone is killing me i think i pay them to work. Should they be paying drive time and milage. Can they do this. Obe month my car was hit while parked at a location they sent me too. They didnt have insurance and my deductable was 500. I paid them to work that week.

    1. The federal government doesn’t require employers to reimburse employees for gas usage. However, if you’re spending so much money on gas that you fall under minimum wage, your employer has to help with your reimbursements. You aren’t allowed to get paid less than minimum wage, so if you are below that, that’s a big issue. Additionally, your state may have it’s own mileage reimbursement laws that protect you, so you’ll want to check with your local labor board to see what your rights are. I would suggest reading this blog post about Employer’s liability with auto accidents to get more information about your additional situation:

  74. I worked for a company that claimed that they paid for mileage and stated that in their handbook. They did not pay for mileage. So when I went to file my taxes, I was not able to write off my mileage because the company was writing that off. Is there anything that I can do?

  75. Im a sales rep. and my manager doesn’t let me report/file expense reimbursement during work time. He want me to do it after work or weekends. Is it legal?
    I want to know if filing/reporting expense reimbursement is a part of work which should be done during work, or if it is not a part of working which should be done during non-working time. sorry about poor english.

    1. If you’re spending time doing work tasks, then they should be done during work hours. This is a unique case, though, because “work tasks” are very vague. I would suggest seeking guidance with a legal counsel if your supervisor can’t assist you.

  76. I am am a W2 employee. I receive no fuel, mileage, drive time reimbursement for travel from my home to work and back. I average 13000 miles a year going to work with my vehicle. My hourly wage is $21.50 per hour. My daily costs to commute to work round trip if you use the $.58 per mile rule : $29. My daily costs to commute if you add per mile $.58 and drive time is $72 per day ($43+$29).

    My actual costs:
    50 miles a day * 5 days = 250 miles per wk, 250*52=13000 miles a year
    3.125 gallons of premium fuel per day * $4.23 per gallon = $13.21
    2 hours drive time * $21.50 = $43
    wear and tear on vehicle: hard to determine

    If I use your thinking I earn $.50 more than California’s state minimum wage of $12 per hour after all expenses are incurred (I earn a net $12.50 per hour). My commute costs me 41% or $9 per hour or $72 of my paycheck a day. There has to be some relief in terms of taxes deductions. Can you please let me know? Thanks.

    1. Hi. An employer is not responsible for compensating employees for travel from their residence to work and vice versa. Employers in California are solely required to reimburse expenses incurred for work purposes (excluding travel time from work to home). In most cases, traveling from work to home is not a taxable expense, it’s a personal expense, meaning that your residence/work travel will not qualify. The IRS also allows a deduction for mileage when a taxpayer is “traveling away from home” for a temporary assignment, but that’s only if you’re not traveling to your normal work station.

  77. My wife works for a child and family services consulting company in Washington state. Her firm bills her client, a school district for her mileage traveled to her school from the office. This last month, my wife failed to get her mileage expenses turned in until a few days after they were due according to company policy. Her manager told her they would and could not reimburse her because they could not bill for the expenses. Later my wife found from the school business manager that I fact her employer did bill for her mileage and was paid by the school. My wife noted to her employer that her mileage was in fact billed and paid however her manager, the director at her location told her sorry it was company policy and refuses to pay her. Does my wife have any legal right to pursue being paid since her employer did in fact receive compensation for mileage she traveled? Thank you for any help you can provide.

  78. Help I am in CA. my company had a xmas party (off premises) during regular work hours. We closed our office and traveled two hours one way to party. Well, all full time hourly employees were paid their eight hours for the six hour event. EXCEPT for me, I get No pay because they said I am part-time employee. But prior to party my supervisor told me I would be paid minimum five hours for the party. Now three days later her manager said no I get no pay. Is this correct according to CA employment laws?
    Please help thank you so much

  79. Hi! I’m a delivery driver for a title company and my driving starting point is in the office of Sacramento. After I do my whole route which is 22 stops my last stop is in Stockton which is 53 miles away from my starting point in Sacramento and more away from home. They stop paying me mileage at Stockton so does the employer have the right to do that because now that my end point is 53 miles further from my home I’m commuting 100 miles a day just to go to work and the gas is killing my pocket.

    1. Technically travel time from your residence to your official work station and vice versa does not qualify for reimbursement. California employers are legally required to compensate you for all miles driven during work, but not when you’re traveling to your residence from work.

      1. hello, is it legal to request gas reimbursement when an employee get picked up and dropped off in a company vehicle after work hours weekly?

        1. This really depends on the situation. If the employee is traveling from their residence to their official work station or vice versa, the employee does not get reimbursed for mileage. Your own state may also have it’s own reimbursement guidelines, so you’ll want to talk to your local labor board about reimbursements in your area.

  80. I was recently terminated and I have received my final paycheck but my employer still owes me for mileage I am owed two weeks from back in October and for the whole month of December. How long do they have to pay me?

    1. According to the US DOL, “Employers are not required by federal law to give former employees their final paycheck immediately. Some states, however, may require immediate payment. If the regular payday for the last pay period an employee worked has passed and the employee has not been paid, contact the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division or the state labor department.”. That being said, your state might have its own regulations in regards to when they have to compensate employees. Speak with your local state department about the issue and they will let you know about a specific time frame.

  81. so help me out here I work for a pet sitting agency I drive 10 miles to a visit do the 1/2 hour visit and get paid 9.90 and drive another 10 miles home. Do I understand that this isn’t legal under the law I get no mileage or travel reimbursement whatsoever

    1. Under federal law, employees do not get reimbursement when traveling from their residence to their official work station and vice versa.

  82. does the law state anywhere that employers only have to pay the DIFFERENCE in mileage after the distance to work? for instance, If you are driving to a meeting from home, they only reimburse after the amount of miles you would have traveled to work. Meaning you can only calculate your mileage from your workplace and not your home even though that’s where you drove to the meeting from.

    1. i guess I left out…the meeting is not at the office. the meeting is elsewhere and requires further commuting, yet the instructions are to only calculate the mileage you are traveling BEYOND the miles you would have traveled to the primary work location.

  83. Hello,
    I work for a homecare company. I have been working for homecare since 2000. In the beginning, we drove our own vehicles, filed tax returns and claimed business expenses to cover miles, depreciation etc..
    Then we were given vehicles-with branding, gas card, maintenance cards and told not to use for personal reasons.
    I took a little break for a few years and now I’m back in home care and I get a vehicle (with logo all over it), a gas card and maintenance card and 300 bucks is deducted every month from my pay and I’m told, I can use it for personal reasons. Why on earth would I drive a company car for personal reasons? I’m told it’s because of FBT and GST. But…does the oxygen delivery guy pay his employer to drive the oxygen delivery vehicle? I don’t think so.
    It looks like a novated lease but everything I’ve read still doesn’t have me, the employee, paying to use equipment necessary to work for the employer. Tax laws or no, how is this okay? And why does everyone act like it’s no big deal?
    Clearly it must be or they wouldn’t do it. I’m bummed. Only 7 more years to work then I can retire. So, at $3600/year x 7 years….$25,200 dollars they will have taken from me. I think I should own the car at that point.

    1. I would suggest that you speak with a legal counsel or talk to your local labor board about this. There’s a chance that this is not a lawful practice depending on your location.

  84. Hello, I am looking for policy/law that states if I am eligible to receive employee expense reimbursement for the period of time that I worked at a company but I no longer work there. The new law went into effect Jan 1, 2019 but the company did not pay out until Feb of 2020. They retroactively paid their current employees for Working-From-Home expenses. I worked there between Jan 1, 2019 – Nov, 2019. Am I eligible to claim the reimbursement even though I no longer work there?

  85. I work for a Utility Company in Illinois. I was given a company vehicle to drive back and forth to work. I am required to pay back mileage approx 40 miles a day from residence to office. My former position, I worked for another Utility company in Illinois, I had a company vehicle to drive back and forth to work. I was never charged a dime to drive that vehicle. What is the difference?

  86. I work for a food truck and we travel for work to different states. we work 15 hours per day on average and I make $9 p/hr but we never get expenses paid like food or incidentals . we only get one room paid by the company for all three of us. Since we pay for food out of our own pockets, does that mean we fall under minimum wages?

    1. Employers are typically legally required to pay for or reimburse an employee for incurred business related expenses. If a meal is business-related, you should be reimbursed. However, they do not have to pay for every meal. Check with your state’s local labor board.

  87. So, I took a job where I am reimbursed at the IRS rate for every mile over my commute time. My home office was 7 miles away. Recently, my company merged, and they closed our office. The closest office is now 38 miles away, located in a different county than I work in. They are telling me that I now have to deduct 76 miles per day (round trip commute time) before I can start claiming mileage. While I may drive 40-50 miles per day to see clients, I likely will not ever drive 76 unless I actually drive to the office, which I generally have no need to do. Can they do this? It isn’t what was agreed to when I started, but I guess they can move my home office wherever they want?

    1. Hi Kristy. Under IRS rules, an employer does not have to reimburse an employee when they’re traveling from their residence to the official work station. So, most would say the fact that your employer is offering to reimburse you for any of your commute time is a benefit. I’m not sure what state you live in, but you might be eligible for mileage reimbursement benefits under state law. I suggest that you speak with an HR rep or with your local labor board so they can clarify your reimbursement rights with you.

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