Illinois recently passed a law that will soon require businesses to reimburse their employees for any business-related expenses paid for out of pocket. As of now, only seven other states (California, New Hampshire, North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, Massachusetts and Iowa) and the District of Columbia have similar laws in place. The law is an amendment to the Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act (IWPCA) and goes into effect January 1, 2019.
Amendment Closes Loophole in Act
Prior to this amendment, there was nothing in the IWPCA that specified expense reimbursement. Because of this, some employers would not reimburse workers since it was not covered under the act, and employees would then sue the employer for violation of contract. The employee would often end up incurring more expenses like attorneys fees, which would not be reimbursed.
Employers Must Reimburse “Necessary Expenditures”
The new law states employers are required to reimburse “necessary expenditures or losses” which the employee incurs during any business activity directly related to the work they do for the employer. The law states necessary expenditures are all reasonable expenses the employee racks up while performing the duties of his or her job. It also states employers are not responsible for losses that are the employee’s own fault, due to normal wear or theft, unless the theft occurred because of employer negligence.
Employees Must Comply With Employer Policies
Even though the new law states employers must reimburse their workers, employees must comply with any written reimbursement policies the employer has in place. The law specifically states employees are not entitled to reimbursement if there are official policies the employee did not follow. The law also says employers are not liable unless they authorized the expenditure the employee seeks reimbursement for, or if they violate their own reimbursement policy.
Contact a Schaumburg, IL Employment Law Attorney
This new law can have a significant impact on company expenditures. If you have employees who use their own vehicle, computer, cell phone or other equipment, an Illinois employment law lawyer can examine your company policies and help protect you against employee expenditure lawsuits. At the Miller Law Firm, P.C., we can determine if your existing employee reimbursement policies are sufficient, and if they are not, assist in drafting new procedures in accordance with the new law. Contact our office at 847-995-1205 to schedule a free consultation.