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I'm sorry to hear about your situation. There's actually no rule that an employer has to reimburse for mileage. Most employers do, as they can get tax deductions for the reimbursement of that mileage, but there is no actual requirement that the employer reimbursed mileage, either in federal law or Texas law.
An employee who uses a personal vehicle for business purposes and is not reimbursed for mileage can take the tax deduction himself, as long as he meets certain criteria. Careful documentation must be kept to demonstrate mileage related to business use, with the taxpayer tracking gas receipts and maintenance and upkeep-related financial records. The taxpayer may be asked to verify that the deductions are taken for mileage accrued only during the completion of necessary business functions, rather than personal use. Commuting time between home and a place of business is not considered a deductible expense unless the individual is self-employed.
Texas is an at will employment state. At-will employment means that without a contract, you have no contractual or other right to employment with the company. The company is entitled to fire you for any reason: a good reason, a poor reason, or no reason at all--as long as the company does not fire you for an illegal reason (race, gender, age, religion, etc...). But it extends beyond firing, to hiring, promotions, demotions, wage cuts and raises, disciplinary actions, and even scheduling. Unless you can show that this was done in violation of a contract, union agreement, or a clear violation of an unambiguous and binding clause against the employer, or that it was done because of some minority status (age, race, gender, religion, disability) that you have, then they do have this discretion.
I am sorry to hear about your situation, and I certainly agree that it's immoral and unethical to do this, as well as just a bad business practice. But it's not illegal to do so, and if your wife does not agree, she can be terminated.
I know this is probably not what you wanted to hear, but it is the law. I hope that clears things up anyway. If you have any other questions, please let me know. If not, and you have not yet, please rate my answer AND press the "submit" button, if applicable. Please note that I don't get any credit for my answer unless and until you rate it a 3, 4, 5 (good or better). Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX luck to you!
Hi Scott. If she is terminated for not doing this, can she file for unemployment?
She can certainly file, and most likely will be granted unemployment. I assume that visiting nursing homes is not part of her current job description. If that's the case, then this would represent a material change in her job description, and her job, as well as her compensation since she would not be reimbursed for the mileage is spent. As such, if she were to refuse, then she could argue that this was a quitting for cause.
Here's a file with "precedents": http://www.twc.state.tx.us/ui/appl/vl.pdf
basically what that is is a document that has cases for situations where an employee voluntarily left for cause or not for cause, and how Texas dealt with them.
Scott, we are having a hard time making ends meet as it is, so this would put a real hard ship on us, to the point that one of us would not have enough money for gas.
The little bit extra hours would not be enough to match the cost.
I understand your situation, and like I said I wish there was something that could be done to force them to pay for mileage.
But unfortunately that is entirely within their discretion.
Believe me, if it were up to me (and if it was something that I could do to change the law in this regard) I would. But that's certainly out of my hands...
Thanks lot, and have a great day.
I do hope that this information gives you a bit more guidance and direction on what to do, and I really do wish you and your wife the best of luck.
My pleasure.If you have any other questions, please let me know. If not, and you have not yet, please rate my answer AND press the "submit" button, if applicable. Please note that I don't get any credit for my answer unless and until you rate it a 3, 4, 5 (good or better). Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX good luck to you!