In most cases, under the FLSA, any work-related expense incurred by an employee that would bring their pay below the minimum wage (or cut into overtime pay) must be reimbursed. University Policy 3301 Travel on University Business states: “Business mileage does not include the normal commute to and from work. Even if your policy is something like, “we will not reimburse any WFH expenses,” go ahead and put it in writing.  Under IRS Reg. Step 2: Make sure the n ew policy conforms to both Federal laws (The Fair Labor Standards Act) AND State laws. A remote work policy can create cohesion and eliminate confusion or frustration for employees. Some states have laws requiring the reimbursement of some or all expenses incurred by your employees. Companies need to … As more companies turn to remote work, they're finding it difficult to support their off-site team with the same level of care as their on-site team. Photo by Bench Accounting on Unsplash. A cash payment (which presumably includes a reimbursement) made to an. Remote employees will also receive [$100] per month as a remote-working allowance to cover office-related costs (e.g. Explain the process for employees to submit necessary expenses for reimbursement, including those expenses necessary for the performance of remote workers’ job duties even if those expenses are not otherwise listed in the policy. For a company whose budget can stretch, th… Companies are paying for their remote employees ’ desks, chairs and computers and are instituting regular allowances for WiFi and phone costs. Employees forced to use their personal equipment, such as cell phones, computers, printers, and vehicles, without reimbursement have claims. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and state and local quarantines, many employers directed employees to work from home. All equipment items purchased with University funds are the property of the University and must ultimately be returned to Yale.  If these items need maintenance/repair while being used at home, employees should notify their Distributed Support Provider (“DSP”) or the IT Department (helpdesk@yale.edu). . Scope. This means involving both HR and legal. Information about the Accounts Payable Now & Tomorrow newsletter or purchase an annual newsletter membership, *** New ***Fraud Protection Resource Center, State and Local 1099 Reporting Requirements. It is also included with Basic, Portal and platinum memberships. The policy should clearly delineate which expenses are reimbursable, but also provide an avenue for employees to submit reimbursement requests for additional necessary business expenses, even if those expenses are not delineated in the policy. Motus provides reimbursement rates for mobile devices, internet and home office expenses unique to each employee… office furniture and décor (e.g., desks, chairs, stand-up desks (e.g., Varidesks), etc.  The cost of accessing the internet from home will be considered a personal expense.”. Step 2: Make sure the new policy conforms to both Federal laws (The Fair Labor Standards Act) AND State laws. purchase costs or maintenance/repair expenses associated with employee-owned items or related services. Include your policy in your employee handbook so employees have easy access. What follows is a plan for best practice organizations to use to achieve that goal. Remote employees will also receive expense reimbursement to cover reasonable and necessary business related expenses that are incurred (e.g. Provide a date by which reimbursable expenses and any required documentation or certification must be submitted. What's more, once the pandemic is dealt with and not an issue (fingers crossed: sometime next year), experts predict that somewhere between 20-35% will ultimately work remotely all or most of the time. Our Employee Expense company policy outlines how we’ll reimburse employees for work-related expenses. Remote work arrangements raise various policy issues, including reassignment of official worksite, pay, and reimbursement for travel. Rightful termination is typically addressed in most company policies, but Rozwell emphasized its importance in a remote work policy. However, with everyone working from home now and for the forseable future, we are considering moving to a stipend based plan. Prior to the pandemic, there was not much remote working and where it did exist, it was frequently only one or two days a week. ew policy conforms to both Federal laws (The Fair Labor Standards Act) AND State laws. The employer may then consider whether to offer additional reimbursement or to decline the employee's claim. The remaining 8 stepes appeared in an article in the November 2020 issue of the Accounts Payable Now & Tomorrow newsletter. This policy applies to all our employees that need to … Expense Reimbursement for Employees Working Remotely Employers requiring employees to work from home during COVID-19 quarantines should promptly review and update their expense reimbursement policies. )*; expenses related to gym memberships and/or equipment; private worksite or employee home expenses (e.g., electricity, insurance, home maintenance, home renovations or modification for office purposes, and other similar personal expenses); and. Employee Reimbursement Policy and its Elements. Further information and detailed scenarios are available in the University’s Mileage Reimbursement Matrix.Â, University Policies, Procedures, Forms, and Guides, Policy Reminder on Internet Access from Home, Policy Reminder on Commuting and Mileage Reimbursements, Coronavirus (COVID-19) Operational Guidance, Office of the Provost: Appropriate Use of University Research Funds. Only with an explicit request from a supervisor should a staff member return to campus. basic office supplies, including but not limited to, the following examples: small computer accessories, including but not limited to, the following examples: batteries for wireless mouse or keyboard; Yale PCard and accompanying expense report (see, Out-of-pocket purchase submitted for reimbursement (see. Filed to: remote employees. Equipment It quickly became clear that every organization should have a policy for reimbursing expenses related to remote work. Since we already know what is reimbursement in the business travel setting, let us try now to take a look and understand the Employee Reimbursement Policy itself. For more information, review COVID-19 Workplace Guidance. This list would include phones, phone service, internet service, computers and/or tablets, and any communications or home office expenses that are required. University Policy 1109 Internet Access from Home states: “The University will not reimburse or pay directly for home internet charges for faculty, postdoctoral associates/fellows, or staff, regardless of the source of funds. What's more, we suspect there was sometimes inconsistency in the manner expenses from different employees were reimbursed. Do not overlook the state requirements. Employees cannot be reimbursed for commuting expenses even if employees work during the commute.”. The potential obligation to reimburse employees for remote work expenses is not limited to California, however. For questions and assistance interpreting these guidelines and appropriate limits, Lead Administrators should contact the Controller’s Office. To support a tax-free reimbursement program, employers should leverage data that accounts for each individual’s regionally-specific costs. The following items, if needed to support effective telework, are generally approved for purchase: Employees may purchase approved items via a purchase requisition through Workday/SciQuest (see Procedure 3201 PR.01 Purchase Requisition Process for detailed process).  Departments are encouraged to designate a point-person (or point-persons) to aggregate employee requests for approved items into bulk purchases for the department.  Purchases through Workday/SciQuest can only be shipped to the Yale office location. This Yale policy is still in effect and applies to individuals working remotely due to COVID-19.  “Home internet charges” include, but are not limited to, routers, modems, hotspots, access fees/charges, and other related equipment and/or service expenses. How to create your work-from-home reimbursement policy. A remote work policy is an important piece of having a successful work flexibility program. A signed telework or remote work agreement must be included in an employee’s Human Resources & Payroll personnel file before such costs may be reimbursed. An expense reimbursement policy is used in a business to repay employees for any out-of-pocket expenses that they have incurred on behalf of their employer. Most experts estimate that approximately 50% have still not returned to the office full time and another 25% have only returned part-time. Reimbursable expenses for remote work The remote work expenses that must be covered by employers in states with strict reimbursement laws includes mostly communications devices and plans. Many employees are still working from home and some of them will likely never return to their physical offices although they will continue working remotely. Our Remote Work Reimbursement rates are calculated to each employee’s location – ensuring the rates are both fair and accurate. “In-office workers who travel are usually provided with laptops, so it stands to reason an organization would do the same for remote workers,” says Hastings. Hence, most reimbursement policies did not address the question of which expenses should be reimbursed and which should be borne by the employee personally. If it is unfeasible to retrieve equipment or an employee requires additional equipment to support effective telework, purchases of the above items require prior approval from the employee’s Lead Administrator.  If prior approval is granted, employees must purchase tablets, computers, and laptops and may purchase other approved items via a purchase requisition through Workday/SciQuest (see Procedure 3201 PR.01 Purchase Requisition Process for detailed process), which will only ship items to a Yale office location.  If an approved purchase cannot be made through Workday/SciQuest and an employee wishes to make the purchase elsewhere, such purchase requires additional prior approval from the employee’s Lead Administrator, who must also obtain an exception from the Controller’s Office. These are the most commonly provided items, with laptops/MacBooks more popular than clunky desktop computers that can’t be taken offsite or into the office if needed. 1. E-commerce company Shopify announced in … While many companies have plans to return to the office, many others -- like Dell and Twitter -- have said work from home would be a permanent component of their workforce accommodation. Remote work stipends solve this problem, and this ultimate guide gives you everything you need to know about them and set one up for your company. According to Upwork, though, nearly two-thirds of employers are utilizing remote workers, but more than half (57%) don’t have a formal policy in place. The following items are not approved for purchase, and the University will not reimburse, or otherwise pay, for their purchase: * Note: for the above, starred items, employees should consider the feasibility of bringing existing equipment home for temporary use.  Items retrieved from Yale should be used for business purposes only and maintained and returned in the same condition in which they were obtained.  Lead Administrators should notify employees of the appropriate process for retrieving items and for tracking their home location. If you’re a remote worker, you’re likely wondering if your company should pay for the supplies, tech and otherwise, that you use to get your job done, just like it would if you worked in the office. remote employees freelance work from home week work from home. Do not overlook the state requirements. Creating a Remote Work Expense Reim . Several states, including California, Minnesota and South Dakota, have laws that require work-related expense reimbursements. 26. We were paying existing remote employees internet bills in full that they would put in through Concur for reimbursement. An exception might be made if the worker only teleworks due to adverse weather or a personal appointment (waiting for a plumber, for example). There are two common options for reimbursing employees for cell phones. Purchases of the above items are permitted only for medical necessity or disability.  Employees must obtain prior approval for purchase of the above items through Yale’s Accommodations Program and attach the approval to the applicable expense report.  If approved, all equipment and furniture items purchased with University funds are the property of the University and must ultimately be returned to Yale. This Yale policy is still in effect and applies to individuals working remotely due to COVID-19.  For employees working from home, the University will not reimburse mileage between the employee’s home and their Yale University work location. § 1.262-1(b)(5), costs of commuting to the place of business or employment are personal expenses.  In general, this also applies to travel between multiple work locations…. While this change may have a long-term effect on commercial real estate, the near-term fallout affects an organization's work-from-home reimbursement policy, especially with regard to network technology …  Items retrieved from Yale should be used for business purposes only and maintained and returned in the same condition in which they were obtained.  Lead Administrators should notify employees of the appropriate process for retrieving items and for recording their home location on the department’s Information Technology (“IT”) inventory.Â. (E.g., for every $100 of taxable stipend, $38 is lost to taxes employee and employer.) If purchasing items through Workday/SciQuest is impracticable, employees may utilize one of the following alternative methods: Purchased items that require shipment (e.g., from an online order) may be shipped directly to the employee’s home (or other applicable remote work location). The Company may reimburse a portion of homeowners’ insurance coverage when required by the Company to protect equipment. Whether you choose to provide reimbursements for remote expenses or are required to, your policy should spell out everything to employees. All staff who can work at home should continue to do so. Other states, including Illinois, Iowa, Montana, New Hampshire and South Dakota, have enacted laws which may require reimbursement of employee expenses, although case law in these states is not as well-developed as in California. Employers in these states need to reimburse remote employees for a computer or laptop, although upgrades to home internet and additional monitors wouldn’t be reimbursable, she said. Occasionally, we may pay for our remote employees to visit our offices. Reimburse for a percentage of voice and/or data fees that accurately reflects the amount of mandatory business usage, and if a percentage or flat monthly amount is used, then allow employees to seek reimbursement for any additional costs incurred over the percentage or flat amount if the actual costs of business use exceed those amounts (this can be hard to determine given the number of … Step 1: Update the policy to address WFH expenses. Even if your policy is something like, “we will not reimburse any WFH expenses,” go ahead and put it in writing. This means involving both HR and legal. Some states have laws requiring the reimbursement of some or all expenses incurred by your employees. Employees cannot be reimbursed for commuting expenses even if employees work during the commute.” This Yale policy is still in effect and applies to individuals working remotely due to COVID-19. Many Yale employees continue working remotely due to COVID-19.  Yale is deeply appreciative of the adaptability and resiliency of its employees.  As remote work continues, the University wishes to clarify the types of items that are generally acceptable for purchase to support effective telework.  This interim policy establishes the rules and guidelines pertaining to such purchases.  As always, employees are expected to spend Yale funds prudently and for valid business purposes. As more employees become remote, this inefficiency only multiplies. Below, we have stated the various parts of the said policy. . What is included in our Remote Work Reimbursement rates? For employees working from home, the University will not reimburse mileage between the employee’s home and their Yale University work location. This article provides employees with analysis and tips related to expense reimbursement of remote workers in California, with a focus on the present Coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic. Information about the Accounts Payable Now & Tomorrow newsletter or purchase an annual newsletter membership here. The Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act has been amended to require reimbursement of employees expenses, which may include higher ticket items like cellular phones, cellular data service fees, home computers and internet provider fees for employees who are expected to work remotely and more travel expenses. A remote work policy cannot treat employees differently on the basis of any protected characteristic, such as age, disability or perceived disability status, or national origin. Health insurance, PTO and other individual or group benefits are not altered by a remote working agreement. employee won't qualify as a WCFB unless the employee is required to: (1) use it for a specific or prearranged undertaking which is deductible under the Code, (2) verify that the payment actually is … Policy brief & purpose. internet, shipping costs). As with all established policies the goal of a remote reimbursement policy should be two-fold: (1) Fair and equitable treatment of employees, and (2) Ending-up with a policy that complies with state and federal laws and one that minimize the employer’s risk of facing adverse actions by employees. Absent such a requirement, expense reimbursement may be necessary to satisfy the FLSA minimum wage and overtime requirements for non-exempt employees. If an employer pays a fixed amount in the form of a stipend, the employer's policy should allow employees to submit expenses for reimbursement if the employees believe the stipend was insufficient to cover their work-related expenses. electricity and rent.) Some states have laws requiring the reimbursement of some or all expenses incurred by your employees. Remote work can help organizations recruit new employees with hard-to-find skillsets, or retain current employees who move due to spouse relocation or other life events. Instructional faculty and members of the President’s Council, whose job responsibilities include an expectation of teleworking, are not required to have an agreement on file. The first is for the employee to submit their monthly bill highlighting business related calls and the AP department will then analyze and reimburse accordingly. We’ll define “work-related expenses” and set a procedure to authorize expenditure. Purchases of generally approved items do not require additional authorization (Note: employees making purchases on sponsored awards must continue adhering to applicable allowability guidelines).  Employees are cautioned, however, that purchases are expected to be reasonable.  Overly frequent purchases or purchases in excessive quantities or dollar values may be disallowed and deemed personal expenses, at the discretion of the employee’s Lead Administrator.  Lead Administrators are encouraged to notify employees that existing supplies in department storerooms should be used before additional purchases are made, if those supplies can be efficiently distributed. Items such as headphones, microphones, webcams, tablets, computers, laptops, monitors, and printers may be necessary for employees to perform work remotely.  The University generally will not, however, pay for an employee to have identical/similar items in multiple locations.  As such, employees should consider the feasibility of bringing existing equipment home for temporary use. Expense reimbursement policies detail when and how employees will be repaid for company expenses, and they generally outline the proper procedure for reimbursement. ... they may in certain states be eligible for reimbursement for cell phone, internet or equipment used in furtherance of the employer’s business. Should contact the Controller’s office policy can create cohesion and eliminate confusion frustration. Employees to work from home, the University will not reimburse mileage between the employee claim! 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