The cost of meals is normally a personal expense. Government employers may provide meals to their employees only when it is necessary to do so. Generally, such business necessity can be shown when an employee is in travel status.

For those government employers that permit meal reimbursement for non-travel necessary meals, a policy should be adopted setting forth what meals are eligible for reimbursement and requiring that employees seeking reimbursement provide:

  • a fully itemized and dated original receipt,
  • the reason the meal was necessary, and
  • to the extent it constituted a “meeting” that was necessary to hold during a meal time, the identities of all persons attending the meal.

This information will help the government employer monitor employee meal reimbursements to ensure they are authorized and appropriate.


Date this Avoiding Pitfall was most recently published: 05/15/2020