Career Path > Money Matters

PER-diem verses pay

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Per diem is not pay.  Yes, some people travel without per diem, but they may be able to turn all of their expenses in to the company and be compensated.  Per diem is a method of paying for expenses incurred by an employee without having to have all the receipt, voucher, audit, etc. type of expense incurred by the employer.  Which is good for business.  Maybe not good for the employee. This would depend on the compensation rate for expenses.

One thing I have a problem with is the practice of paying local techs more than those drawing per diem. Pay and per diem, legally speaking, are two different things. You are paid your wage for what you do and that is the same regardless of how far from home you are. Per diem is based on your elligibility to deduct expenses related to business travel. I think the practice of paying "local" techs more than "roadies" constitues Discrimination based on residency and I believe it's illegal. I'm no lawyer and I could be wrong. Eric?

Already Gone:
Everybody's at least partially right on this one.
A job that pays well, but doesn't offer per diem, results in a negative impact on the income.
A job that pays locals more to "make-up" for the per diem is just unfair to the travellers -- although locals might deserve a little kick to reward them for being loyal returnees, and because it's good to employ locals in any business.
Pocketing a little per diem is always a good thing, but not a lot of money when you consider that it's only a couple of hundred a week for about half of the weeks in a year.

And yeah, all that per diem you put in the bank will not count toward your Social Security.  You can't use it as income for purposes of 401(k) contributions or mortgage applications or that sort of thing, but it also doesn't count as income when considering your kids' financial aid eligibility for college. 

Bottom line:  if you start thinking of per diem as a part of your compensation, rather than as a reimbursement for expenses you incur for the benefit of your employer, they have you where they want you.

not true, some people are offered jobs with no per diem AND they get no travel pay.  there is no reimbursement for some people.  that's what i'm trying to get you to understand.  per diem is money distributed to workers so they do a job.

believe me, if any company could get away with not paying your living expenses, they would.

once again, plenty of people all across america work out of state and get no per diem.  but they can write off expenses on thier taxes.  travel pay is NOT required by the govt or any other regulation for members of the general poplulation.

it is given out much of the time, but there is plenty of time where it isn't.

my friend nick is making 18$ an hour in oregon with NO diem, NO reimbursement.  he is just working a construction job and living with a friend.

you can haggle all you want all day about terminology, but $$$ are going into your pocket for doing a job.  that's why when locals get a job  they get more money per hour if others are getting diem.  if diem was not pay, this wouldn't happen.

I remember reading Abercombie vs Bartlett requarding per diem being wages for worker compensation. I believe keith won that arquement with the workers comp board.


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