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Should companies offer reimbursement for commute expenses?

Gas Prices
Posted at 11:24 AM, Aug 11, 2022

Philadelphia will soon require companies with a certain number of workers to offer commuter benefits. Large employers in some other big cities offer these benefits as well.

These benefits come as the cost of filling up and insuring vehicles increased in the last year.

But human resource experts don't expect more companies will offer this long-term.

“There's a lot of chatter in the system amongst major employers who are saying listen, this is just one more factor, one more thing we will take into consideration when deciding whether or not to move to a city,” said Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., CEO of SHRM. “So the idea that, one day, the city is directing people to pay for driving. Where does it stop?”

He said companies are more sensitive to people working minimum wage jobs. Workers are also asking for gas assistance rather than for a general pay increase.

“That's a discussion we're having more and more that says, you have to be careful about the argument that things are going up so raise my salary, because when things come down, we want to have a conversation potentially about reducing your salary,” said Taylor.

Some companies are also pointing out the savings you may have if you're working a hybrid work schedule compared to commuting every day.

When you can prove your costs have increased, some employers are offering things like an additional day working from home.