Mileage Reimbursement Rights

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#1
So I am currently the only person at my employer that owns an electric car. I drive a Model 3. I was recently informed by my supervisor that I would no longer be allowed to expense mileage on my personal vehicle "because it is electric". This is coming on the heels of a huge department cutback on other expenses and overtime, so I assume it is money related.

My question is, are they allowed to do that? I always assumed that companies can pay what they want, so long as it is greater than a federal/state based minimum. Can they prohibit me from getting paid for the miles I have to put on my vehicle? Especially when literally every employee (over 300) is allowed to?

Thank you to anyone who can help. I bought this car BECAUSE my job requires me to drive a lot of miles. Electric cars are definitely cheaper to own but they are not free. Especially with tires costs generally being higher.

Additional info (not sure if important): I work for a Credit Union, so it is not-for-profit. Nowhere in the employee handbook are alternative-fuel vehicles exempt from mileage.

Edit: Typos!
 

garsh

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#2
I suggest talking to a lawyer.
 

SoFlaModel3

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#3
Mileage reimbursement isn’t just about gas, it’s overall costs ... which absolutely includes tires, value loss, etc.

I don’t think they can tell you no because your car is electric.
 

Ed Woodrick

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#4
So I am currently the only person at my employer that owns an electric car. I drive a Model 3. I was recently informed by my supervisor that I would no longer be allowed to expense mileage on my personal vehicle "because it is electric". This is coming on the heels of a huge department cutback on other expenses and overtime, so I assume it is money related.

My question is, are they allowed to do that? I always assumed that companies can pay what they want, so long as it is greater than a federal/state based minimum. Can they prohibit me from getting paid for the miles I have to put on my vehicle? Especially when literally every employee (over 300) is allowed to?

Thank you to anyone who can help. I bought this car BECAUSE my job requires me to drive a lot of miles. Electric cars are definitely cheaper to own but they are not free. Especially with tires costs generally being higher.

Additional info (not sure if important): I work for a Credit Union, so it is not-for-profit. Nowhere in the employee handbook are alternative-fuel vehicles exempt from mileage.

Edit: Typos!
While companies can do what they want, you may want to remind them that they are probably using the IRS reimbursement rates. These rates don't specify the type of vehicle. And if they want to pursue this, then maybe it is time that they set a mpg rate where a Prius gets less money than a F-250 pickup.

And indeed, fuel is barely the biggest contributor to the IRS. At $3 per gallon and 10 mpg, that's only $0.30 for a inefficient vehicle. But for a 20 mpg vehicle, it's only $0.15 of the IRS $0.545 rate.
You may want to jump over the Supervisor to HR or travel for clarification. Because if travel is required in your job function, then they just gave you a pay cut.

You may want to show the Supercharger costs at https://www.tesla.com/supercharger as an indicator of how costs for fuel are not $0 and are only incrementally lower.

upload_2018-9-25_14-44-35.png

Now, yes, we all believe that the numbers shown in this chart are way off, but it always helps to have "information from an authority" to help with an argument.

And finally, if things are starting to get this tight, it may be a blessing that you realize that it is time to jump ship.
 

MelindaV

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#5
So I am currently the only person at my employer that owns an electric car. I drive a Model 3. I was recently informed by my supervisor that I would no longer be allowed to expense mileage on my personal vehicle "because it is electric". This is coming on the heels of a huge department cutback on other expenses and overtime, so I assume it is money related.

My question is, are they allowed to do that? I always assumed that companies can pay what they want, so long as it is greater than a federal/state based minimum. Can they prohibit me from getting paid for the miles I have to put on my vehicle? Especially when literally every employee (over 300) is allowed to?

Thank you to anyone who can help. I bought this car BECAUSE my job requires me to drive a lot of miles. Electric cars are definitely cheaper to own but they are not free. Especially with tires costs generally being higher.

Additional info (not sure if important): I work for a Credit Union, so it is not-for-profit. Nowhere in the employee handbook are alternative-fuel vehicles exempt from mileage.

Edit: Typos!
when your employer reimburses you for your mileage, they in turn claim that on their taxes or pass the cost on to your client (if that applies) who then claims it on their taxes. the rate per mile is set federally and does not care if you are driving a Hummer or electric car.
 
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#6
Thank you everyone for sharing your opinion. There is some really good information here.

I wrote a very carefully worded email that basically explained that fuel is a small portion of my overall cost, that my decision to make environmentally-sound decisions should not be punished, and until the board of directors votes to exclude alternative fuel vehicles, I expect to receive the same rights and treatment as any other employee.

I do not plan to make this a big deal yet, simply show that I do not intend to roll over and accept this. If things continue to escalate, I will move on to alerting HR.
 

garsh

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#7
I wrote a very carefully worded email that basically explained that fuel is a small portion of my overall cost, that my decision to make environmentally-sound decisions should not be punished, and until the board of directors votes to exclude alternative fuel vehicles, I expect to receive the same rights and treatment as any other employee.
If you can add some lawyer friend as a "cc:" to that email, they'll take it more seriously.
I do not plan to make this a big deal yet, simply show that I do not intend to roll over and accept this. If things continue to escalate, I will move on to alerting HR.
Note that HR is there to basically make sure the company doesn't get in trouble. I think that works fine for you in this case, since the company *will* get in trouble for singling you out like this. Just keep their objective in mind when dealing with them.