If a company paid the money for goods/services, and a special extra was provided to the employee on the virtue of the employee's life outside the company, who owns that something extra? The employee or the employer?
As a trivial example, let's say the employee were a senior citizen. Furthermore, let's say that the employer has booked hotel rooms for a conference stay, and that that hotel offers a senior discount in the final booking price. In this case, it's straightforward to see that the company made a smart economic choice to get the most bang for the buck. These savings are the company's.
But what if, unbeknownst to the company, the hotel offers freebies of economic value to all senior citizens. Something like a day at the spa, or a gift certificate for a future stay. The company's choice was not motivated by the free gift, and so the company received full value for its money.
In the above case:
- the employee would not have received the freebie without the company's money
- but neither would the employee have qualified for the freebie without the employee's non-work-related status (i.e. age).
So they've both contributed something. Without each one's unique contribution, the new value would not have been unlocked.
So who "owns" the freebie?
- Is the value all the company's? It paid the money.
- Is the value all the employee's? The gift was given to the individual, for qualifying reasons which are wholly unrelated to their employment.
- Is the value to be equally shared between the two? If so, is there precedent for how to split this value? (Let's pretend that the value were high enough for both the employer and the employee to care)
P.S. I think this is different from the question of frequent flier miles. It is well-established that the employer owns FF miles. IANAL so my opinion is on shaky ground, but I see some daylight between the above and FF miles. FF miles are given to anyone who has an account, and are part of standard carriage for all travelers. Anyone can sign up for an FF program. On the other hand, freebies like described above are given to specific and limited groups, and obv. not just anyone can sign up for senior citizen status.