Policy Steward: 
Manager of Analytical Ops
Format Updated: 
University Policy & Standards Converted: 
Priority Level: 
2-High Priority
Draft or Revision in Progress
Revision Date: 
Saturday, October 22, 2016

* This information replaces FIS 410-07 Non-Travel Meals and Refreshments & FIS 410-29 Meals on One Day Trip


410-07 Non-Travel Meals and Refreshments

Fiscal Operations Manual
Section 400: Expenditures 
Effective: 01/01/2003
Revised: 10/22/2016

Refreshments, meals, or affiliated supplies (ie paper plates, cups, etc) at unit functions can be paid with University funds when the activity meets one of the following criteria:

  1. Training or workshop lasting at least two hours
  2. Unit staff retreat held away from the normal work location with a written agenda and in a private room
  3. Employee working meal with required attendance where business is conducted during the meal period (as documented in meeting agenda) and location is not at a restaurant (unless in a private room)
  4. Employee meal provided at worksite during an overtime period that is two or more hours beyond the end of employee’s work shift and when duties prevent the employee from taking a meal break (must be clearly documented)
  5. Refreshments or meals for a Department Student Organization and/or Recognized Student Organization when engaged in an educational activity.

University funds cannot be used to pay for employee meals or refreshments for regularly scheduled unit meetings.

Use of the employee working meal option by a unit should be infrequent.

The request for payment on non-travel meals or refreshments must:

  • Document the purpose of the function, agenda, names of the attendees, and why that time of day requirement (if a meal).
  • Include the average per person cost on the first line of TEXT in the Banner document and  may not exceed the current OSU per diem.  The cost includes the price of the meal, delivery, and tip.
  • Use account code 28611 Refreshments and Food – Departmental to process invoice payments or reimbursements.
  • Use account code 28502 Overtime Meal Allowance to process invoice payments or reimbursements for employee meals provided during an overtime period.

NOTE: Meals and refreshment costs cannot be paid with Petty Cash funds.

For additional information see:
FIS 410-05 Hosting Groups and Official Guests
FIS 410-29 Meals on One Day Trip (see section below)
Fiscal Policy 56.100 Non-travel Meals, Refreshments and Hospitality Expenses


410-29 Meals on One Day Trip (no overnight stay)

Fiscal Operations Manual
Section 400: Expenditures 
Effective: 01/01/2003
Revised: 12/30/2014

Employee overtime meal allowance  

When an employee travels departing and returning the same day, the IRS considers breakfast and dinner allowances, figured on the basis of hours worked, to be taxable to the employee.  If such breakfast and dinner allowances are paid, use account code 28502 – Overtime Meal Allowance (W-2 Reportable). Payment is made using the current in-state meal per diem rate.

  1. Breakfast allowance can be paid when an employee leaves their official station two or more hours before their regular work shift.
  2. Dinner allowance can be paid when an employee returns to their official station two or more hours after their regular work shift

Classified employees may be similarly compensated when required to work at their station two (2) or more hours beyond the end of his/her regular work shift when such additional work causes the employee to miss his/her regular meal.  Current in-state per diem rate for the meal is used for the allowance.

Employee meals when officially representing the University

These meals are away from the work location, but the employee is not in travel status.  The meal can only be reimbursed when all three of the following are met:

  1. The claimant is attending a conference, seminar, convention, board meeting, or committee meeting as a representative of Oregon State University where non-OSU employees are present.
  2. The meeting is not a social or fundraising function.
  3. The menu and cost is arranged by the event organizers and beyond the control of the claimant. These meals are considered an employee working meal and are not taxable to the employee.  Reimbursement is paid as account code 28611 - Refreshments and Food-Departmental.   Proof of payment and a copy of the meeting announcement which shows a clear business purpose and the meal as partof the agendaare required.  Alcoholic beverages cannot be reimbursed.

See above section FIS 410-07 Meals and Refreshments at Departmental Functions for other information on payment of employee meal or refreshment costs.

Athletic team or student group meals

When athletic teams or special student groups are on day trips and meals are provided, use account code 20300 Student Meals. The actual cost of the meal is reimbursed with receipts, not travel per diem. University funds cannot pay for meals or refreshments at for-credit classes unless the activity is part of a self-support instructional program where the participant is charged a fee to cover the cost.

For meal costs when athletic teams or student groups are in-travel status, use 39119 Group Travel-Domestic, or 39646 Foreign Group Travel as appropriate.

For additional information see:

FIS 410-05 Hosting Groups and Official Guests