Can my employer put a deadline on my mileage reimbursement claim?

My employer claims that they requested all mileage reimbursement paperwork to be filed by the 17th of last month. My mileage was turned in after that and they are denying my claim. Is this legally allowed and what, if any, recourse do I have?

Asked on February 29, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Wisconsin


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Yes, it is legal. An employer is not required by law to reimburse employees for mileage in the first instance--it is completely voluntary whether they do this. Therefore, since it is voluntary, employers may put conditions on reimbursement--such as requiring that the paperwork be turned in prior to a certain date. Thus, as a general matter, it would be legal for an employer to decline to pay reimbursement which is submitted too late.

The exception would be if there had been an agreement in place between you the employer, either governing reimbursement generally or governing reimbursement for the particular mileage in question (e.g. they had agreed to reimburse you a particular trip, with no restrictions). In that event, the employer must honor the terms of the agreement.

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