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Employment Law/Offer letter contract w/ per diem payment


I was hired as a contractor for a company based in Virginia. They have a contract with DOD. My work location is in Japan for about 6 months. In my offer letter it states I will get a per diem for 5 days at a specified amount. Come to find out it was only a one time payment. I have contracted before with other companies, within the U.S however, and was paid a per diem for the duration of my employment; thus thinking this current company would be no different. In my offer letter each type of payment is spelled out if it is per hour, per pay period and per month. So the per diem I thought would be every five days M-F. I am paid bi-monthly. Is this company obligated to pay me the per diem for the duration of my employment since it is in my offer letter and it doesn't state one time at 5 days? How can I find out if they are getting compensated for us contractors to travel abroad but they are not paying us those per diem rates? None of us are military, just civilian contractors. I have also found out that other employees have had issues with this company for not honoring what they have said either verbally or in writing regarding payouts. Those people have quit.
This company received their contract with DOD under the SBA.
Any insight to this would be most appreciated.

If the per diem paid is the same to you that it is to all the companies employees than you are being treated no differently than other employees.If this is their policy you will not have a recourse on this amount. You need to make sure you understand the terms before you agree to work for a company.

You will not know if they are being compensated for your services as that information is not public knowledge.

It is also possible that they only pay a per diem for the move and not during employment. If you pay taxes in the US you can take a housing and meal allowance for your time spend as an expatriate.

Unless your compensation is less than the minimum wage than the government does not take part in those type of payments unless there is something discriminatory about the job or payment. This does not sound like a case of discrimination.

Do not shoot the messenger but I do not find any legal recourse for you.


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Shirley McAllister, CPP, PHR


I can answer questions about payroll laws and payroll tax laws and Human Resource laws and agencies. I can answer federal payroll and human resource law questions and most states; I do not have a knowledge of the local taxes for cities and counties within the state. If and when I can I will try and send you the website where you can reference the answer and where you can obtain more information as well as a contact number if needed for that particular agency. Some agencies I have worked with are IRS, Department of Labor (federal and state), Revenue Canada (and provincial governments), Inland Revenue, OSHA (0ccupational Safety and Health Administration); Social Security Administration and National Child Support as well as other agencies in Payroll and Human Resources. Some Laws I am particularly familiar with are FLSA (Fair Labor Standards Act), ADA (Americans With Disabilities Act), FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act) COBRA (Consolidated Omnibus Reconciliation Act ) , QDRO's, QMCSO's, and other support orders and garnishments, USERRA (Uniformed Services Employment and Remployment Rights Act,PPA Act (Pension Protection Act of 2006, As well as most other employment type acts. I am also well versed in the Title V Civil Rights Act and the HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act).


30 years in Payroll and Human Resources

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PHR Certification in Human Resources CPP Certification in Payroll in U.S. Payroll Administrator and Payroll Supervisor certification in Canada

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