UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022
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My company requires me to travel. when I do this they ask me to pay for it
upfront and then they pay me back. However it seems to take them several weeks to
do so and the system is quite convoluted. In my eyes this is the same as the
company taking a short term loan from me. Can I impose some sort of penalties or
interest for this loan I am giving them?
Asked on October 5, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, New York
SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney
Answered 5 years ago | Contributor
No, you have NO right to impose penalties or interest on them unless the company consented to this *in advance* of you incurring the costs. Not only can no one impose penalties or interest on another without their consent in any context, but employment is specifically "employment at will": i.e. the employer sets ALL terms and conditions of work, including how travel expenses and reimbursement function, and if an employee does not like how it works, his or her only recourse is to seek other employment.
If it is any consolation, current savings interest rates on a short term basis are less than 0.5% (one half of one percent) per year. Say that you have to carry a $1,000 cost for 6 weeks before it is paid back. The "cost" to you of not being able to put the money in the bank and get interest on it is 6/52 x 0.005 x 1,000, or only $0.58 (fifety-eight cents)--hardly a big deal.
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