What to do if I filed a work-related expense report on my last day of employment but haven’t received a response or payment for these legitimate expenses?

Does my former employer have to pay me back?

Asked on August 17, 2015 under Employment Labor Law, Washington

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

If these were expenses incurred for work, in the reasonable expectation that they would be reimbursed for example similar expenses were reimbursed previously, then yes, the employer should pay you back it could be viewed that due to your reasonable based on past conduct expectation of repayment upon which you relied to your detriment, they implicitly made an enforceable promise to reimburse you, which the courts will "estop" or stop them from denying this is called "promissory estoppel" and/or that there was, based on demonstrated conduct, an enforceable oral agreement to reimburse you for work expeneses you incured for their benefit so you'd sue for breach of an oral contract. If they will not voluntarily pay you, you could sue them for the money--for example, in small claims court, acting as your own attorney "pro se" to save money.


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