For a mandatory weekend seminar, does the employer have to pay mileage to/from, as well as provide per diem for meals?

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For a mandatory weekend seminar, does the employer have to pay mileage to/from, as well as provide per diem for meals?

We require our staff (both hourly and exempt-salaried) to attend a weekend seminar. This is a one-time event, approx 17 hours across Fri night – Sun. No overnight; staff gets to go home each night. Are we required to trade out hour-per-hour (meaning 17 hrs)? Do we have to provide mileage reimbursement? Do we have to provide per diem for meals?

Asked on July 20, 2011 Washington

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

1) If the staff have to go to the seminar, it counts as work time. Any hourly employees must be paid for the time spent (salaried staff do not); non-exempt employees (which will include the hourly workers) may therefore also be entitled to overtime if as a result of the seminar, they work more than 40 hours in a workweek (alternately, you can reduce their hours otherwise to keep them under the threshold).

2) You do not have to provide mileage reimbursement. If you do not, the staff may be entitled to claim mileage as a deduction on their tax returns, so you should encourage them to keep track of mileage.

3) You do not have to pay per diem for meals.


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