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Dear Workforce Should We Offer Allowances for Gas?

Dear Handouts:

If you’re going to offer a monthly allowance for commuting expense–gas, tolls, parking, etc.–offer it to all employees who qualify geographically. If you support managers but not their employees, you send the wrong message.

You might be tempted to encourage carpooling by offering the allowance to two or more employees who travel to work together. Again, wrong message. If the employees choose to ride together, let them reap the savings. To do otherwise would favor those who don’t carpool.

Be careful about ignoring people who live closer. You could have a discrimination issue here. Unless you’re in an unusually remote location, your employees may choose to live farther away from the job site. That’s their privilege–and they bear the cost of the different living environment.

Each company’s case is different, so we can’t paint this picture with a broad brush. This could be a dangerous, slippery slope. All your people are valuable to you–that’s the message you want to send.

SOURCE: Roger E. Herman, certified speaking professional and certified management consultant,The Herman Group, Greensboro, North Carolina, co-author of How to Become an Employer of Choice and Impending Crisis: Too Many Jobs, Too Few People, June 26, 2003.

LEARN MORE: Read aboutrelocation management.

The information contained in this article is intended to provide useful information on the topic covered, but should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion. Also remember that state laws may differ from the federal law.

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