What to do if my employer won’t reimburse me for my gym membership now thatI have given notice?

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What to do if my employer won’t reimburse me for my gym membership now thatI have given notice?

Gave 2 week notice and submitted final expenses. Company had always paid a portion of my gym membership, however, this time they told me they would not reimburse me because I had given my notice and it was considered a “perk” not a reimbursed expense. Given that they had reimbursed it in the past and that I was told I could expense a percentage of this out, can I press the issue to have them reimburse me now?

Asked on June 15, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Once you give notice, you have effectively quit on the spot; while two weeks notice is traditional, it's not actually the law and the company is not required to let you stay on during the notice period. Your company may at that point simply terminate your employment and compensation (and you would not be able to get unemployment, since you were the one giving notice).

However, certainly for the time up to when you gave notice, the company should provide any benefits and reimbursement it was providing you--unless and only to the extent it had given you warning in advance of a change in the reimbursement policy. A company may, in the absence of a contract, change this policy at will *going forward*; but until the change is announced, they need to pay the way they had been. In this case, therefore, if the company had been paying for your gym and had not given you any reason to think they wouldn't, they should reimburse you for gym expenses up through the time you gave notice.

Where it gets more sticky: they don't need to provide benefits past when you leave. So say that you pay for your gym membership on 6-month installments and pre-pay, but as of the date you leave employment, you had only used 2 of those months--the other 4 months of membership will occur after you leave. In that case, the company would most likely only need to reimburse for 2 months worth of membership, not the full 6 months you'd paid for.


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