4.17 Expense Reimbursement & Travel

(Reaffirmed 12-2-1991; Revised 11-3-2003)

The Board of Trustees delegates to the College President the establishment of procedures which regulate the reimbursement of expenses incurred while members of the Board of Trustees or College employees are on College business.

Procedures (Revised 4-6-2006,4-7-2015, 10-8-2019, 12-5-2022)

4.17.1  The intent of these procedures is to fairly compensate College employees for travel and out of pocket expenses.  Employees should never profit from the procedures.  Employees are obligated to minimize expenses whenever possible.

4.17.2  Requests for reimbursement of expenses must be submitted on the appropriate Expense Claim and Travel Reporting Form within 30 days of the expense or they will not be reimbursed.  Exceptions must be approved in writing by the employee’s administrator with appropriate justification provided.  All employee reimbursements are subject to IRS regulations.

4.17.3  Transportation, lodging, and meeting/conference registration charges should be pre-paid using a college credit card whenever possible.

4.17.4  All trip expenses, whether prepaid or reimbursed, must be reported on the appropriate Expense Claim and Travel Reporting Form.  Forms and instructions may be found on the College website.

4.17.5  Mileage (Revised 4-7-2015, 10-8-2019, 5-14-2020, 12-5-2022)

Mileage expenses for travel subject to reimbursement shall be reimbursed at a per mile rate established by the Internal Revenue Service.

  1. Human Resources together with the employee’s administrator will determine a single, regularly assigned place of employment for each employee upon acceptance or change in position with the College and/or update to this policy. Mileage expense for traveling between the employee’s residence and the employee’s regularly assigned place of employment shall not be reimbursed.
  2. Travel between College-owned sites and/or off-site locations is required by some positions. If a travel allowance is not written into an employee’s contract for this purpose, the employee is eligible for mileage expense reimbursement for such travel on a per event basis.
  3. An employee traveling for College business from their residence to a site other than the employee’s regularly assigned place of employment is eligible for mileage expense reimbursement. Mileage will be calculated from the employee’s regularly assigned place of employment or the employee’s residence, whichever is less.
  4. A reimbursable mileage guideline, which delineates standard mileage from the College to sites commonly traveled to, will be generated by the Office of Finance and Administration. Mileage to sites not on the guide will be based on mileage provided via a web mapping service and documented with a printout of the web page.
  5. Employees should use the most efficient and economical mode of transportation and are encouraged to utilize a rental car when feasible. The College has established a corporate rate and direct billing arrangement with Enterprise for rental cars. Employees regularly traveling between the Union and Rolla campuses may use a rental car if it is convenient.

4.17.6  Transportation Expenses other than Mileage (Revised 12-5-2022)

Other transportation expenses including but not limited to railroad fares, air fares, taxis, rideshare services, baggage transfers, tolls, and parking fees shall be reimbursed in full provided such expenses are necessary and reasonable and supported by appropriate receipts.

4.17.7  Lodging (Revised 4-7-2015; Revised 10-8-2019; Revised 1-27-2023)

 Lodging expenses shall be reimbursed in full provided such expenses are necessary and reasonable and supported by appropriate receipts.  For lodging in Missouri, employees should provide the hotel/motel with the ECC tax exemption letter.  The College does not reimburse for Missouri sales tax.

The College will pay in-state hotel/motel expenses if travel is required on consecutive days to a location 80 miles or more from the college or the employee’s home, whichever is closer.  Supervisors may approve exceptions by attaching a stay/drive comparison to the Expense Claim and Travel Reporting Form.

In cases where a professional development activity is less than 80 miles from the College or the employee’s home (whichever is closer) and an overnight stay is desirable to avoid additional travel time, approval must be granted by the College President and reimbursement will be treated as a taxable benefit per IRS code.

4.17.8  Conference Expenses (Adopted 10-8-2019; Revised 5-14-2020)

Conference agenda and itemized expenses (meals, lodging, etc.) should be attached to the Expense Claim and Travel Reporting Form.  Transportation to/from conferences will be reimbursed at the cost of the least expensive mode (airfare, mileage, rental car).  Any exceptions shall be approved by the President or appropriate Vice President.  An employee opting to extend their stay prior to or following a conference will be required to reimburse the college for rental car charges for any additional days or may choose to drive a personal vehicle and receive reimbursement at the comparable rental car cost.

4.17.9  Meals (Revised 4-7-2015, 10-8-2019, 12-5-2022)

The College will reimburse actual meal expenses for approved activities, with itemized receipts, as follows:

Single-Day Trips – For single-day trips for meetings outside of the district/service region, reimbursement for actual meal expenses will be provided in the same manner used for the first day of travel on an overnight trip.  If a meal is provided as part of the meeting, no reimbursement will be provided.

Overnight Trips – For trips requiring overnight travel, reimbursement will be provided for actual meal expenses (including gratuities) up to the current U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) rates (https://www.gsa.gov/travel-resources) with itemized receipts.  On the first day of travel, meals will be reimbursed with itemized receipts for breakfast if travel commences before 8 a.m., for lunch if travel commences before 11 a.m., and for dinner if travel commences by 5 p.m.   On the last day of travel, meals will be reimbursed with itemized receipts for breakfast if travel ends after 8 a.m., for lunch if travel ends after 12:30 p.m., and for dinner if travel ends after 6:30 p.m.

Costs for a meal or meals provided as part of the conference or registration cost, will not be reimbursed.

Business Meals – Expenses for meals with a business purpose will be reimbursed in full if authorized in advance by the employee’s dean or administrator.  These expenses must be supported with the names and positions of the employees and guests involved and a description of the purpose of the meeting.

Required Meetings – When a College employee is required to attend a function where a meal must be purchased, the meal expense shall be reimbursed in full.

Alcohol – In no case will the cost of alcoholic beverages or other personal expenses be reimbursed.

Excess Expenses – If expenses in excess of the limitations stated above are charged to the employee’s College-issued credit card, reimbursement must be made to the College within 30 days for the amount exceeding the stated limit.  The employee’s supervisor will notify the employee of excess expenses and will note the amount to be reimbursed by employee on the Expense Claim and Travel Reporting Form prior to approving and submitting the expenses to the Business Office.  A check reimbursing the College for excess charges will be attached to the form when submitted; if no check is attached to the form, the excess charges will be deducted from the reimbursement due to the employee or from the employee’s next paycheck.

4.17.10 Gratuities (Adopted 10-8-2019; Revised 12-5-2022)

The recommended tipping guidelines are as follows:

Meals 15-20%
Taxi/Rideshare 10%
Airport Shuttle $1 per bag

If an employee desires to tip above the recommended guidelines, the additional amount will not be reimbursable from the College.

4.17.11 Cash Advances (Revised 4-7-2015)

Employees who do not have access to College credit cards may obtain a cash advance for travel, up to a maximum of $100 per day, by submitting a request for travel approval form.  Failure to submit the required Expense Claim and Travel Reimbursement Form within 30 days of travel completion will result in deduction of the full cash advance amount from the employee’s paycheck.

4.17.12 Prospective Employees (Revised 6-19-2014; Revised 4-7-2015)

With the approval of the College President or designee, applicants selected for interviews may be reimbursed for expenses not to exceed the established amount when traveling 100 miles or more one way for the interview.  Allowable expenses will include lodging and transportation (i.e., air travel, rental car, fuel) or as designated by the College.

4.17.13 Relocation Within the College District (Revised 6-18-2014, 4-7-2015, 10-8-2019, 12-5-2022)

Relocation expense reimbursements for moving into the East Central College District will be allowed for the President and Vice Presidents.  The reimbursement is considered an incentive for College administrators to reside in the District. Relocation reimbursement for moving into the East Central College Service Region may be allowed.

The employee will be eligible for reimbursement only once and the move must fall within the first year of employment.  The College President may approve an extension of up to one (1) year based upon extenuating circumstances.

The College will follow IRS requirements with regards to reporting taxable income.

The President will approve the reimbursement of relocation expenses up to $2,000 for Vice Presidents.  The Board of Trustees will approve the reimbursement of relocation expenses for the College President as negotiated in the contract. Relocation reimbursement for other positions and/or moving to a residence located in the Service Region or outside of the Taxing District will require recommendation by the College President and approval of the Board of Trustees.

Reimbursable expenses include:

  1. Rental transportation and packing of household goods and personal effects.
  2. Travel of spouse and dependent(s) living in the immediate household; allowable for one (1) trip by the employee and one (1) trip per household member. Family members do not have to travel together but the family members’ relocation must be within the year of the move of the employee.
  3. Lodging for one (1) night stay at old location, one (1) night stay at new location, and lodging while traveling enroute to new location.
  4. Moving of personal autos.

Non-reimbursable expenses include:

  1. Meals, food, and/or beverages
  2. Relocation of nondependent(s)

Reimbursement requests are to be submitted within 30 days of the completed move. A signed expense reimbursement form, along with original receipts and/or other supporting documentation for the expenses, should be submitted to Human Resources.