Pay travel expenses for new, longer commute? — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Business Management Daily

Pay travel expenses for new, longer commute?

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Q. One of our employees normally reports to a facility. But he's out on workers' comp and is doing light duty in the office, which is an extra hour commuting time. I know we don't have to pay for his commuting time, but what about his travel expenses? —M.T., Massachusetts

A. You have no legal obligation to reimburse employees for their travel expenses, whether they drive or use public transportation. Of course, employee morale and retention will suffer if you don't have a reasonable reimbursement plan for noncommuting travel. However, unless your policy or practice offers reimbursement in situations like the one you describe, I would consider this employee's travels as ordinary commuting time, which is not eligible for reimbursement.  

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