Can hotel cancellation fee be deducted from expense reimbursement check?

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Can hotel cancellation fee be deducted from expense reimbursement check?

A former employee he terminated employment cancelled a company prepaid hotel
reservation on the day of arrival and chose to go to a different hotel. He is
claiming the hotel on his expense report, but the company was not refunded for
the previous hotel reservation since he cancelled outside the cancellation
period. We are reimbursing the hotel he paid for, but deducting the amount we
were not refunded for the cancelled room. He is claiming this is illegal. Are we
allowed to deduct the not refunded amount since he agreed to the company provided
room originally then changed his mind?

Thank you.

Asked on December 14, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, Colorado

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

Yes, it cannot be deducted from a paycheck, but it may be deducted from an expense reimbursement check. The law does not give employees a right to reimbursement (it would be legal to require them to bear their own expenses), so reimbursement is subject to the employer's terms; those terms can include that reimbursement is reduced by any charges or costs the employee caused the employer to incur. More generally, when A owes B money but B caused A to incur a loss, A can offset that loss vs. what it owes B.


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