Paul L. Caron

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Google Cuts Off Free Food For Its Employees Working From Home During COVID-19

CNBC, Google Tells Employees They Can’t Expense Food or Other Perks When Working From Home:

Google (2019)Google employees won’t be able to expense food or gym costs while working from home — even if they have extra money from unused event or travel budgets.

The company issued an updated policy in the last week that states employees cannot expense perks while working from home, including food, fitness, home office furniture, decoration or gifts, according to materials viewed by CNBC.

The policy also states that employees cannot use unused budgets to do things like purchase meals for themselves or their teams during virtual meetings or donate to charities of their choice.

The clarification comes as some employees, who enjoyed a plethora of perks as one of their draws to the company, hoped they would be able to maintain some of these perks after they were ordered to work from home due to the Covid-19 pandemic. ...

Many teams have budgets that were designated for internal events and travel that have gone unused as events have been canceled, according to an internal Q&A post. But those cannot be used for anything outside their original purposes.

“This includes sending snack boxes/gifts to Googlers or allowing teams to expense breakfast/lunch/dinner as part of virtual gatherings,” the company stated in the forum. “These policies help ensure reporting and tax compliance, as well as consistency and fairness for Googlers across teams.”

Free food has been a hot topic among employees working from home, who once enjoyed vast options of free cafeterias and drinks at the company’s corporate offices.

Prior TaxProf Blog coverage:

Coronavirus, Tax, Tax News | Permalink


So some nerds will lose a few pounds. That's okay.

Posted by: kishke | May 12, 2020 9:45:57 PM

Wonder what Google did with all that food left in their cafeterias when they shut down? Did they donate it?

Posted by: JeffH | May 12, 2020 11:27:40 AM

Is the Google decision influenced by tax law?

Posted by: Paul Milenkovic | May 12, 2020 10:44:44 AM