Can I request reimbursement for meals associated with working from home during the COVID-19 shelter-in-place, or for meals taken at home (or delivered) during Zoom business meetings and employee morale events?

Can I request reimbursement for meals associated with working from home during the COVID-19 shelter-in-place, or for meals taken at home (or delivered) during Zoom business meetings and employee morale events?

Many campuses have been receiving requests from employees for reimbursements of meal expenses associated with working from home during the COVID-19 shelter-in-place. It is important to remember that employees who are working from home are not on travel status as defined in Business and Finance Bulletin G-28, Travel Regulations, as “the period during which a traveler is traveling on official University business outside the vicinity of their headquarters or residence.” Because employees who are working from home are not on travel status, they are not eligible for meal reimbursement.

Similarly, requests for reimbursement of meals taken at home (or delivered) during a Zoom business meeting or employee morale event are not reimbursable under policy. Per Business and Finance Bulletin BUS-79, a business meeting requires an in-person host, and is intended for on-premises and/or in-person meetings of employees. None of those factors would occur, for example, if an employee is reimbursed or provided a meal for consumption at their own home during a Zoom meeting or event with colleagues.

Campuses can reimburse or provide meals for non-employees that are associated with on-line donor cultivation events. Similarly, campuses can provide a meal to a non-employee guest who is attending a University-sponsored meeting or event. And, students who are not employees and participating in a remote student-related programmatic activity can be provided a meal voucher if attending the on-line event. Campuses have the discretion whether to provide meal gift cards in these situations.

If you have any questions, please call David Won at (510) 587-6043.

View Guidelines for Reimbursement of Meals Provided for Remote Meetings

faqs tags: 

Unit or Topic: 

Travel & Entertainment