What can I do if my boss tries to discipline us by not approving our travel expenses until she has met with us personally to discuss her grievances?

My boss is a micro-manager and is a vengeful person. She will retaliate in my performance review which she has done in the past. I need to pay my mortgage and credit card bills which include my travel expenses.

Asked on March 13, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Illinois

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

An employer need not reimburse its employees for travel expenses. Therefore, to the extent that it does, it has a great deal of say over just how and when they are reimbursed. This means that requiring a face-to-face meeting prior to issuing a reimbursement is perfectly legal. The fact is that in "at will" employment relationship, a company can set the conditionss of work much as it sees fit. That having been said, such action cannot violate the terms of any applicable union agreement or employment contract. Also, the employee's treatment cannot constitute some form of legally actionable discrimination.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Unless there is a written contract in place which, among other things, covers the process and timing of expense reimbursement, each employer can adopt its own timing and process, and that can include not paying the expenses until after a meeting to go over any employee issues--this is legal, and the fact that it impacts your personal expenses is not the company's legal concern. (That is, the company is not liable for your need for reimbursement to pay your bills; you have to make sure you can pay them even if you are reimbursed late.)


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