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  • expense reimbursement Ohio

    ORC4113.15 (Ohio)
    regards timely wage payment.
    "wage" is then defined to include expense reimbursements.
    If I'm reading this correctly, the longest I should wait for reimbursement is 30 days - an expense I incurred on Day 1 of this month might not be paid until (or before) Day 1 of next month.
    However -it looks like the max could also be two weeks. If I incur expenses on the 30th of this month, I must be reimbursed by the 15th of next month.
    So the answer is: "It depends." ...right? What happens when they're late? If I submitted an expense December 31, but did not get my check by January 15th, this seems clearly it not? Or am I interpreting this all wrong?
    It's becoming an issue here at my workplace, and is a matter of several thousands of dollars.
    Thanks, all, for any input.

  • #2
    You are welcome to file a wage claim with your state if the reimbursements are guaranteed and you were not paid for them. I'm not sure what you want us to tell you otherwise.
    I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.


    • #3
      well - that's kind of the crux of it and the reason for my question.

      since "wages" are defined to include reimbursements for expenses, I'd say I'm "guaranteed" the money, yes. Am I wrong?

      next, is the deadline 15 days or 30, or can it indeed fluctuate?

      I'm not looking to file a claim or whatever - I'm looking to motivate our in-house payroll staff to reimburse our employees in a timely manner. As it is, they just do it "when they have time."


      • #4
        You might want to read the entire law.

        (A) Every individual, firm, partnership, association, or corporation doing business in this state shall, on or before the first day of each month, pay all its employees the wages earned by them during the first half of the preceding month ending with the fifteenth day thereof, and shall, on or before the fifteenth day of each month, pay such employees the wages earned by them during the last half of the preceding calendar month. If at any time of payment an employee is absent from his regular place of labor and does not receive his wages through an authorized representative, such person shall be entitled to said payment at any time thereafter upon demand upon the proper paymaster at the place where such wages are usually paid and where such pay is due. This section does not prohibit the daily or weekly payment of wages, the use of a longer time lapse that is customary to a given trade, profession or occupation, or establishment of a different time lapse by written contract or by operation of law.

        (B) Where wages remain unpaid for thirty days beyond the regularly scheduled payday or, in the case where no regularly scheduled payday is applicable, for sixty days beyond the filing by the employee of a claim or for sixty days beyond the date of the agreement, award, or other act making wages payable and no contest court order or dispute of any wage claim including the assertion of a counterclaim exists accounting for nonpayment, the employer, in addition, as liquidated damages, is liable to the employee in an amount equal to six per cent of the amount of the claim still unpaid and not in contest or disputed or two hundred dollars, whichever is greater.

        (C) In the absence of a contest, court order or dispute, an employer who is party to an agreement to pay or provide fringe benefits to an employee or to make any employee authorized deduction becomes a trustee of any funds required by such agreement to be paid to any person, organization, or governmental agency from the time that the duty to make such payment arises. No person shall, without reasonable justification or excuse for such failure, knowingly fail or refuse to pay to the appropriate person, organization, or governmental agency the amount necessary to provide the benefits or accomplish the purpose of any employee authorized deduction, within thirty days after the close of the pay period during which the employee earned or had deducted the amount of money necessary to pay for the fringe benefit or make any employee authorized deduction. A failure or refusal to pay, regardless of the number of employee pay accounts involved, constitutes one offense for the first delinquency of thirty days and a separate offense for each successive delinquency of thirty days.


        • #5
          Thanks for the responses...

          Yep, got that part of the law -

          But it's hard to tell where "30 days late" is, if I don't know when it was originally owed. 15 days? 30 days? "It depends."

          My original Q: According to this law, I can interpret to mean they must reimburse within 15 days, or within, 30 days - or can be either?

          I know it "seems" obvious in the text, but in my experience, nothing in law is obvious except to lawyers.


          • #6
            60 days from when you put in the reimbursement request.
            I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.


            • #7
              Ok, I'm not a lawyer, but I respectfully disagree with the spirit of that.

              If there's an alternate explanation that enlightens me, I'm all, eyes.

              But my interpretation of that ORC is: for expenses I submit on the last day of this month - I must be reimbursed by the 15th of next month. True or not?

              I don't mean "when can I sue" or "when am I entitled to complain" or any of that - I mean - per the letter of the law - are they or are they not in violation on the 16th of next month (if I am not paid)?


              • #8
                If you still haven't received pay for expenses submitted in December, it is late. How late really doesn't matter at this point. File the claim. The state will determine any penalties due.
                I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.


                • #9
                  My original Q used December as an example only. I did not say "for example only" because my question is not about exact dates, but about the law as written.

                  Believe me, if my reimbursements (on my personal credit card) were several thousands and several months in arrears, I wouldn't be posting on a legal forum. I'd be busy jobhunting instead while having a (non-virtual) lawyer chase down my rightful cash.

                  I am only looking for a real LEGAL argument that says, clearly and unequivocally, without any if ands or buts, that expenses occurred on the last day of any month MUST be reimbursed by the 15th of the following month, or the law has been violated. Is that, or is that not, what it says?

                  Again - I THINK that's what it says - it SEEMS like that's what it says - but our own accountant denies it. That's why I'm posting here. I'm not looking to wage war at work, I'm looking to educate the staff and AVOID $200 penalties, not go fetch one for myself.


                  • #10
                    The law addresses WAGES. It does not address EXPENSES. There are only two states in the US that require the reimbursement of expenses; in one of those two states the only legally mandated expense is mileage; Ohio is neither of the two states.

                    So no. What you think the law says is not what the law says.
                    The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.


                    • #11
                      Thanks all for your input -

                      CBG, ORC 4113.15 /d/1 "Wage" means the net amount of money payable to an employee, including any guaranteed pay or reimbursement for expenses...

                      That seems pretty clear to me - and yet I am still meeting with resistance, here and at work. I'm glad I asked the question, because what "seems clear" to me is obviously problematic!

                      It's possible only two states mandate expenses in the first place. Ohio does not - but if the employer policy is to do so (reimburse, that is), then that promise becomes the same as wage...apparently...or doesn't it?


                      • #12
                        So, do you have a legally binding and enforceable contract that guarantees payment of expenses? Cuz if you don't, expenses are NOT "guaranteed pay".
                        The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.


                        • #13
                          Employees who argue interpretation of the law (when it doesn't apply to their situation) with someone in a position of power may tick off the higher ups. If it doesn't apply to you, then drop it. If it applies then follow the steps you have been given.


                          • #14
                            Agree with cbg - do you have an actual bona fide contract (not an employee handbook, not an offer letter, not a verbal promise from HR, not an email from your manager, but an actual contract document that says something like "contract" or "agreement" at the top and which has been signed by you and a legal representative of your employer) that guarantees your expense reimbursement?


                            • #15
                              So your explanation is that the law says "guaranteed....reimbursed expenses" and yet Ohio does not HAVE guaranteed expenses so therefore this line of the ORC is not valid?

                              That's a bit of a stretch.

                              It says "guaranteed PAY" and later in life it says "OR reimbursed expenses."

                              I do not, while reading "normal" English - distribute the word "guaranteed" onto the next phrase. It applies to PAY - not to expenses.

                              Though one could make the case that the "guarantee" is by contract of employment and the employee handbook - which , here, it is.

                              In the meantime, and in general, just because I did not supply specific info does not mean anyone should fill in the blanks. Don't over think it. The entire exercise is related to the general policy, not a specific case, although I framed it that way to make it easier (I thought). It's about both MY money - when I'm owed expenses - and my employee's money - when I OWE THEM expenses.

                              I am not interested in being bitter about it, nor am I in any danger of sour grapes from management - I AM the management - as I said before, I'm trying to educate my staff and AVOID the $200 penalty.

                              As far as Ohio not mandating expense reimbursement - while technically true - I cannot imagine a situation in which anyone accepts employment that dictates they OWE more than they EARN. Why would anyone agree to that? My expenses (again, it's general, I don't mean ME literally) can easily hit $5000 in a month. Maybe more. I don't earn that much. Why am I working here? Well - those expenses, while not "legally" mandated - are guaranteed to be reimbursed by my contract and by my employment agreement. Otherwise, I would work here just one month, and resign. Right?

                              So I concede that the reimbursement is not mandated - in Ohio - but in practicality - it IS, unless you want all your employees to jump ship.


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