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Per Diem Rules

What are per diem rules?

Per diem is a specific or fixed amount of money which a company provides to an employee to reimburse stay and travel expenses incurred while travelling or working away from the place of employment. Employers usually pay a standard daily rate irrespective of the actual amount spent by the employee. This eliminates the need to create expense reports by employees for reimbursement. Employees need not return any unused or unspent per diem money.

My spouse and I are working together for a project in the same company. We had a fixed per diem rate of $155 but since we live together, the employer has reduced the per diem to $40. Is this allowed? When other employees share accommodation they are paid the regular per diem, the rule applies to married people only, is this considered discrimination?

Per diem rules are created and controlled by the company and are governed by the company policies. The company has a right to change the rules at any given time with notification. Some employers also refrain from paying per diem to their employees as a company policy. In your situation it appears the rules are discriminatory in nature towards married couples. You may have a valid argument in this case and you could file a claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). After deliberation, if the EEOC rules in your favor you would be granted a “right to sue” letter and a lawsuit could be filed to claim the amount due to you.

Can child support obligation be fulfilled entirely using tax free per diem amount? My social worker says it can.

Per diem is not an income, it is essentially a reimbursement for business expenses. In most cases it cannot be used to pay child support. Technically since per diem cannot be used to ascertain child support there could be some complication with your bank account or per diem is mixed in with the other income leading to it being perceived as an asset.

I need to provide my financial statement of income for the purpose of modification of child support. Am I required to include non taxable per diem in this? Under what category do I list per diem in the financial statement (FL 155)?

The court considers income from all sources, whether it is reported or taxed under federal law, for the purpose of calculating child support. Hence non taxable per diem is included in the modification. If no other specific category is available on the financial statement, you can show per diem under employer benefits. In most cases, the court will request for tax returns along with proof of income/wages such as pay stubs. It is better to be frank and honest with this information to avoid problems in the future.

Does per diem replace wages or is an addition to them? In my previous company it used to be an addition whereas my current company it is replaced by wages.

In the literal sense, per diem is per day or daily wages. The per diem rate is what you receive or entitled amount on a daily basis. In your earlier company you could have received per diem as an allowance or reimbursement of expenses in addition to regular wages. Your current company is calculating in the literal sense of daily wages which is also correct.

My company charges the customer government stipulated per diem but I as an employee do not receive the same rate. Is this allowed?

The per diem rules are relative to each company, uniformity arises only in the tax treatment of such payments. Some government agreements specify the employee should be paid the declared per diem. Some other government contracts do not require the employees to be paid expenses. A common practice companies generally follow is per diem skimming for tax benefits. Since per diem is taxed in a different manner compared to salary, on papers, the employer may choose to show the per diem received as a way to offset the salary paid to employees. Apart from this there are many other ways which companies employ to control per diem and salary for tax purposes.

Is there a law which regulates per diem payments? If the company is paid a certain rate from the client, are they required to pay the whole rate to the employee?

There is no specific law which regulates or controls per diem rate. The company can choose to retain the whole amount received by the client. The rate payable to the employee is based on the company’s policy and contractual agreement of the employee. Example: if a company were to make profits or incur losses, it is required to pay per diem at the agreed rate to its employees.

Per diem rules can vary from company to company. Some may pay it while others may not grant per diem to its employees. The law or government does not have a significant role in regulating the per diem rate declared by companies but discriminatory practices can be reported to authorities. To know more about per diem and have your questions answered consulting Experts will be help provide the right and relevant information.

Ask an Employment Lawyer

Tina
Tina, Lawyer
Category: General
Satisfied Customers: 8108
Experience:  JD, BBA, recognized by ABA for excellence.
4460311
Type Your Employment Law Question Here...
characters left:
4 Employment Lawyers are Online Now

How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Employment Lawyers are online & ready to help you now

Tina
Lawyer
Satisfied Customers: 7759
JD, BBA, recognized by ABA for excellence.
Marsha411JD
Lawyer
Satisfied Customers: 10539
Licensed Attorney with 27 yrs. exp in Employment Law
Infolawyer
Lawyer
Satisfied Customers: 9785
Licensed attorney helping employers and employees.

Recent Per Diem Questions

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    HI I received a letter a couple days ago about a non compete after opening up my new business and want to ask some questions...
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    i was employed for twenty one years, i am 62 years old. Last year i had two primary cancers uterine and breast continue working through radiation a position came up for restorative nurse monday through friday the director of nursing waved her hand up and down in front of me and said you don't need this it will be too much (mean while i have been working double shifts every weekend ) i don't see how she decided it would be , i was told by other nurses she already promised position to another nurse she posted the job because its policy, i just let it go. about 6 months later position was posted for staffing i applied for position, she call me interview and i was given the job, i was oriented 5 1/2 days, i wasn't shown half the stuff i needed to know, she would find things just about every day to harrassed me about i found myself calling human resources at corporate, they would give me suggestions how to handle her, as the months were going by i had to check over time reports sheets she wanted me to write up cna and not nurses i said something to adon regarding it because one nurse was making twenty hours over time every two weeks; she wasn't ask to come in for extra shifts, the one day i brought the over time report to administrator he had his interm sitting in room and i place paper on his desk and i told him if he look at report he would know where all the over time is going he pick up paper and rip it in front of my face i was so humilitated i just walk out of room i call corporate i also wrote a letter in detail in how these were handling faciity and sent it to corporate and owner. They had a new nurse from corporate to come in and talk to me she said she investigated it and no merrits to my complaint , which i found amusing because the only three people she spoke to was the administrator DON and the intern. I have a lawyer who has been trying to get a modification on my house i spoke to him about sent the letter i sent to corporate and he told he would write a standard letter I was concern because I felt these people couldn't be trusted and this so call investigation took over a month The administrator said he had no recall of that happening, now all the time i have worked for this facility i never had to call corporate and the time she felt i wasn't doing things right i ask for more orientation and wasn't given it. normally i nurse is not working out in these positions they place them back on floor i wasn't given that option I was fired here i was in a whole from both cancers and trying to get my house back on track and I find myself humiliated once again by being walk out of the building this happen in October here it is December and no job yet of course it took me three weeks to get over the fact i work for them twenty one years
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