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  1. #1
    Nobody, et al.
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    mileage reports denied

    So there are multiple work sites (hospitals) that I can be called upon to physically be at - the two major ones are 10 miles apart.

    Normally, people can submit mileage reports to ostensibly cover the gasoline/vehicle wear-and-tear costs of getting from place to place within the standard work day.

    Note this does not include getting to and from work, just moving from site to site once you're already there.

    Given that I've been specifically told to go from one place to another on a regular schedule, I've submitted a month's worth of mileage (worth about $55).

    It was summarily denied.

    Should I be as angry as I feel?

    Bear in mind I don't know for sure whether it was denied based on my bicycle riding or not... But I think so. Nobody else is getting denied.
    My belt buckle has my name on it: "DAD"

  2. #2
    Have bike, will travel Barrettscv's Avatar
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    I can understand your frustration. I'm sure the beancounters denied the exspense since a car was not used. Asking these guys to think outside the box is difficult, but you might explain your bike usage in a letter. Also, ask for the Bike Commuting incentive offered in the "bail-out" bill.

    Michael
    When I ride my bike I feel free and happy and strong. I'm liberated from the usual nonsense of day to day life. Solid, dependable, silent, my bike is my horse, my fighter jet, my island, my friend. Together we will conquer that hill and thereafter the world.

  3. #3
    Randomhead
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    Sorry to hear that. I understand their position though. If they are following the IRS guidelines, they are under-compensating for car usage. I know it doesn't look that way. The costs of using a bike are non-zero, but they aren't 55 cents a mile like with a car.

  4. #4
    Senior Member lil brown bat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nobodyetal View Post
    Should I be as angry as I feel?
    No. That 55 cents a mile is for automobile use, and is a rate established by the IRS (i.e., it's the rate that people can use to deduct from their taxable income for automobile travel that is a)required by their work and b)not a part of their normal commute). Feeling angry at your employer is pointless and non-productive.
    You have the right to your own opinion. You don't have the right to your own facts.

  5. #5
    Senior Member MNBikeguy's Avatar
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    As the brown bat said, it's an arbitrary auto reimbursement allowance, not a stipend reward to get from point A to B. Perhaps as an alternative, you could get in on the recent commuter tax credit.
    "I thought of that while riding my bike."
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  6. #6
    All Bikes All The Time Sawtooth's Avatar
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    OR........you could just not mention the bike thing and simply submit your mileage report as if you drove (shady, but not unethical by my standards since it is their rigid position that forces you to do so). What is it to them? They are willing to pay for you to get there in a car and telling them you did so in a more cost effective manner just throws a wrench in their unflexible system. Take your car pay and smile all the way to the bank
    It makes absolutely no difference to their bottom line if you take the car pay. It is a win-win. If you feel like the car-based reimbursement is too high, simply submit it only as often as you feel comfortable to make up for the difference.

  7. #7
    The Improbable Bulk Little Darwin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sawtooth View Post
    OR........you could just not mention the bike thing and simply submit your mileage report as if you drove (shady, but not unethical by my standards since it is their rigid position that forces you to do so). What is it to them? They are willing to pay for you to get there in a car and telling them you did so in a more cost effective manner just throws a wrench in their unflexible system. Take your car pay and smile all the way to the bank
    It makes absolutely no difference to their bottom line if you take the car pay. It is a win-win. If you feel like the car-based reimbursement is too high, simply submit it only as often as you feel comfortable to make up for the difference.
    We made our money the old fashioned way...

    ... FRAUD.

    EDIT: Our mileage reports have different categories for personal auto, personal plane etc... there is no flat rate for mileage, it is reimbursement for expenses incurred, and there is a specific amount for cars and other specific modes to save people from having to prove expenses.

  8. #8
    Older I get, faster I was con's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nobodyetal View Post
    It was summarily denied.

    Should I be as angry as I feel?

    Bear in mind I don't know for sure whether it was denied based on my bicycle riding or not... But I think so. Nobody else is getting denied.
    Get a copy of your MOU or Policy and Procedures manual, or what ever they call it, do your research, be on solid “legal” ground with the appropriate documentation for back up and go see the proper person.

    Your research may show you are not entitled to mileage reimbursement when on a bicycle. If that is the case, politely work within the system to try and create change, most likely during the next round of union negotiations, if that applies in your case.

  9. #9
    All Bikes All The Time Sawtooth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Little Darwin View Post
    We made our money the old fashioned way...

    ... FRAUD.

    EDIT: Our mileage reports have different categories for personal auto, personal plane etc... there is no flat rate for mileage, it is reimbursement for expenses incurred, and there is a specific amount for cars and other specific modes to save people from having to prove expenses.
    So it sounds like your system is much more flexible. How would one submit bike related expenses in your system?

    I do not condone fraud as defined by misleading a party to unjustly attain something you do not deserve. But, when it comes down to it...justice trumps complete transparency for me when having to deal with a system that will unjustly leave you in the red for their own benefit.

    The downside to that is that it leaves me and me alone to decide what is just. But, such are the risks inherent with an unflexible system. I had a business mentor once who always told me..."if you hose your employees in any way, they will ALWAYS take it back from you in any way they can (be that office supplies, expense reports, time goofing off, whatever). So if you decide to be unjust, you cannot be suprised when employees take actions to correct the injustice on their own.
    Last edited by Sawtooth; 03-03-09 at 10:09 AM.

  10. #10
    member. heh. lambo_vt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sawtooth View Post
    I do not condone fraud as defined by misleading a party to unjustly attain something you do not deserve. But, when it comes down to it...justice trumps complete transparency for me when having to deal with a system that will unjustly leave you in the red for their own benefit.
    So you don't condone fraud except when you stand to benefit? That's very specious reasoning.

  11. #11
    All Bikes All The Time Sawtooth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lambo_vt View Post
    So you don't condone fraud except when you stand to benefit? That's very specious reasoning.
    NOTE: I have had a lot of caffiene this morning and it makes me somewhat recalcitrant . Still, I think it is a good argument.

    Only the extent that justice is served. Beyond that would be ...... unethical. If the more powerful entity cannot think outside the box to make me whole, I am certainly capable of doing so (but not to gain more than what is fair).

    I have already conceded that there is potential unfairness in this because the more powerful entity is no longer in the negotiation of what is fair. But they basically made that choice. And besides, I am not asking for more than is just.

    Are you guys really so rigid in your ethical thinking that you accept injustice just because the more powerful entity pushes it upon you? That would kill a business. Think about the AP policies of your own organizations, it is safe to say that most try to benefit themselves in every way possible.

    Charity aside, I will make every effort in my life to be made whole when I benefit others and to make others whole when they benefit me. Nothing more, nothing less. To me, that is the most ethical thing. To me, ethical thinking and legal thinking are not always the same thing. The law, for the most part, emulates the majority's ethical standing but not always.

    That being said, if one choses to engage in less than transparent practices to make themselves whole, they also take upon themselves the accompanying risk of consequences. For instance, to make an untrue reimbursement claim to Medicaid is simply stupid. You are better off to make yourself whole through tax loops, etc.
    Last edited by Sawtooth; 03-03-09 at 10:30 AM.

  12. #12
    not a role model JeffS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sawtooth View Post
    Only the extent that justice is served. Beyond that would be ...... unethical. If the more powerful entity cannot think outside the box to make me whole, I am certainly capable of doing so (but not to gain more than what is fair).

    Are you guys really so rigid in your ethical thinking that you accept injustice just because the more powerful entity pushes it upon you?

    What injustice was perpetrated on you? What expense did you incur to ride those miles on your bicycle? If you don't know, you don't know what you're upset about.

    You push the issue and your employer will likely want you to reimburse them for the extra time you took to ride there - or just prohibit bikes altogether.

  13. #13
    Nobody, et al.
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    Meh, sounds like there's probably some auto-specific language in the 55-cents/mile regulations my employer follows.
    All it's ever written or called around here is "mileage" so I figured it was worth a try.
    My belt buckle has my name on it: "DAD"

  14. #14
    member. heh. lambo_vt's Avatar
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    Forget the ethical question... you're advocating a course of action that could result in losing your job in order to get paid to ride your bike. And it is worth noting that applying for personal vehicle mileage rates when you're not using your vehicle is "gaining more than what is fair". This is not simply unethical, it's potentially illegal.

    Life is not fair, and a business has no obligation to reimburse you for miles spent on a bike or in a car for that matter. Take what you can get and enjoy the miles on your bike - if you really want to risk your job to get reimbursed for 100 miles of wear on your bike, go for it.

    Certainly you can see how silly it is to write "I don't condone fraud unless I think it's the right thing for me to do."

  15. #15
    Senior Member Kimmitt's Avatar
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    On the other hand, if the policy says "personal vehicle use," then there is no particular need for anyone to be informed as to which vehicle is being used.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nobodyetal View Post
    Normally, people can submit mileage reports to ostensibly cover the gasoline/vehicle wear-and-tear costs of getting from place to place within the standard work day.
    ~
    Given that I've been specifically told to go from one place to another on a regular schedule, I've submitted a month's worth of mileage (worth about $55).

    It was summarily denied.

    Should I be as angry as I feel?
    No, getting angry has never resolved a dispute.

    If you walked to the other site, would you have claimed "mileage"?

    If you road a bus, could you claim the fare? (does your bus system have bike racks mounted for such travelers?)

    If you took a taxi, would the expense be reimbursed?

    Many employers adopt the IRS allowance per mile for reimbursed automobile expenses or the actual receipted expense for cost that are paid. Including parking and tolls.

    Also, when you traveled from one assignment to the other, were you doing so while being paid by the employer, or on your own time?

    Submitting reasonable wear and tear expense for the bike maybe more practical, which is less than the cost of a gas powered vehicle, make it win-win, you may have a chance to be taken seriously.

  17. #17
    Senior Member lil brown bat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sawtooth View Post
    OR........you could just not mention the bike thing and simply submit your mileage report as if you drove (shady, but not unethical by my standards since it is their rigid position that forces you to do so).
    Wrong. It's IRS policy, not "their rigid position", that's behind it. Or do you normally consider businesses to be "rigid" for complying with IRS regs?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sawtooth View Post
    It makes absolutely no difference to their bottom line if you take the car pay.
    Wrong. That 55 cents is an amount that they can deduct from the IRS as an operating expense, and as such, it certainly does make a difference to their bottom line.
    You have the right to your own opinion. You don't have the right to your own facts.

  18. #18
    Senior Member
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    Do you have a car? If not, you can always tell them you don't want to use your bike for business use without being reimbursed. At that point, you don't have any way to get to the other place, except a cab. Start submitting those if you feel sufficiently contrary.

  19. #19
    Team Water Andy_K's Avatar
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    Perhaps you should look at this as an opportunity. You should propose that the company make a pool of bikes available for all workers to travel between sites. This would save the company money and be make it "greener" at the same time, not to mention the health benefits to the employees.

  20. #20
    Stan jostan1's Avatar
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    The emissions emitters are rewarded.......again
    I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.----voltaire
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  21. #21
    Senior Member baron von trail's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy_K View Post
    Perhaps you should look at this as an opportunity. You should propose that the company make a pool of bikes available for all workers to travel between sites. This would save the company money and be make it "greener" at the same time, not to mention the health benefits to the employees.
    I like it!!

    Seeing as to how Dude above mentioned he works for the healthcare industry, you would think that his management team would jump at this healthy idea.....oh, I'm sorry, I actually thought HC executives gave a damn about people's health. My bad.

  22. #22
    Senior Member Caspar_s's Avatar
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    Who cares why the policy is there. Employees are paid for travelling from one location to another at a set rate. Does this mean someone driving a hummer gets upset because the rate doesn't come close to covering his cost? Does it mean the owner of a hybrid is committing fraud because he is getting more money than he actually uses? If a group have to go and they car pool does just the owner get reimbursed? So they are encouraging people to travel by themselves in a car.

  23. #23
    Senior Member Hot Potato's Avatar
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    You shoud pay your employer 10 cents a mile for the privilege of getting to ride your bike extra during the work day.
    Quietly elevating being dropped to an art form

  24. #24
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JeffS View Post
    What injustice was perpetrated on you? What expense did you incur to ride those miles on your bicycle? If you don't know, you don't know what you're upset about.

    You push the issue and your employer will likely want you to reimburse them for the extra time you took to ride there - or just prohibit bikes altogether.
    Is there not wear and tear on a bike? That alone should justify some expense. I know I regularly buy tires and gloves... that wear out through use... I use lubricants on my bike that have to be replenished.

    The only thing I don't do is use gasoline. But then neither do I cause the same wear on the roads, nor do I pollute.

    As far as "the time it took to get there... " perhaps the cyclist was able to get there sooner. I know in the past there have been commutes where I could easily arrive by bike faster than by car. So that issue may even be negligible. And what of the potential health benefits of regular exercise?

    Yeah, these are sticky areas... but the fact is that one should be compensated, just as a driver, for mileage done on work time.

  25. #25
    Seņior Member ItsJustMe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Underbridge View Post
    Do you have a car? If not, you can always tell them you don't want to use your bike for business use without being reimbursed. At that point, you don't have any way to get to the other place, except a cab. Start submitting those if you feel sufficiently contrary.
    ...and they'd pay it, because per IRS regs, they can deduct those expenses. If they decide to reimburse for bike expenses, it's totally out of their pockets.

    If you don't like it, see if you can get your congressperson to modify tax law so the company can get reimbursed for bike miles.
    Work: the 8 hours that separates bike rides.

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