May an employer give cash advances to employees for transportation costs?
Author: Alice Gilman
No. An employer may advance up to 12 months' worth of mass transportation benefits (e.g., transit passes, tokens, fare cards, vouchers and similar items), but cannot advance cash. As for mass transportation benefits, an employer must distribute passes directly to employees; cash reimbursement (but not advances) to employees may only be made if passes cannot be purchased directly from a transit provider and employees substantiate their costs. Parking and bicycle benefits may only be paid on a reimbursement basis and only if employees substantiate their expenses to their employer.