Can an employer give a benefit to some employees but not to others?

UPDATED: Oct 3, 2012

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Can an employer give a benefit to some employees but not to others?

The company I work for is a non-profit. In the past, employees that moved out of state by their own choice were reimbursed for travel back to company headquarters for various events. I have recently moved out of state and my employer is asking me to pay for my travel back to headquarters for various events. Is this legal?

Asked on October 3, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, New Mexico


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Yes, it is legal. While certain benefits (like health insurance or retirement benefits) have laws which govern who receives them and at least limit the ability to deny them to certain employees, other benefits, like vacation days, tuition reimbursement, expense accounts, and travel reimbursement, are completely at the employer option. An employer is free to offer these to some employees but not others.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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