Do I have to pay per diem for food and lodging?

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Do I have to pay per diem for food and lodging?

I am running a job in Ohio. Corporate office is in another state. Am I required to pay the Ohio employees a per diem for food and lodging? I put my employees in hotels but they are required to check out of the hotels if they are not going to work.

Asked on May 31, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Ohio

Answers:

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

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

No, you do not have to pay a per diem for food, lodging or anything else. Your only obligation is to pay wages in full in a timely manner. That's it. While you can choose to compensate your employees for these thigns, you are under no legal duty to do so. However, this a presupposes that there is no union agreement or employment contract to the contrary. Otherwise, as an "at will" employer, you can set the conditions of work much as you see fit (absent some form of legally actionable discrimination).

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

No, there is no legal requirement whatsoever to pay a per diem to employees for food or lodging. Indeed, there is no requirement to pay anything when employees travel: not for food, not for transportation, not for lodging--employees can be required to foot all those costs themselves, and whatever an employer elects to pay is completely voluntary on its part.


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