What are my rights if I live and work in 1 state but my manager has threatened to have me work in another within his office, almost 2 hours away, in order to “whip me back into shape”?

I feel as if this is a plot to get me to quit because this is an unreasonable request.is the request within the legal limits of the law?

Asked on August 11, 2015 under Employment Labor Law, Connecticut

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

How long is your commute at present? If the new commute is substantially longer than your old commute, it may that you would be considered to be "constructively discharged"--or effectively fired due to your work conditions becoming intolerable. However, there is no hard-and-fast rule for when far is "too far"; much depends on the  situation (e.g. a more highly compensated employee can be reasonably required to commute further for his/her good pay than a minimum or just-over-minimum wage worker; 2 hours is unreasonably further than a previous 10 minute commute, but is not unreasonably further if you previously commuted an hour-and-a-half; etc.). You are advised to consult in person with an employment law attorney, to see if this would constitute constructive termination.

Now, the thing to remember is, even if it is constructive termination, it is legal, unless you had a written employment contract to the contrary: after all, if you don't have a contract, your employer could simply terminate you if they want, so they could do anything up to termination, including moving you and unreasonable distance away. However, if the change in conditions is so bad as to qualify as constructive termination, you'd be able to quit and still collect unemployment compensation, whereas if this is not constructive termination, even if it's so bad that you choose to quit, you would not receive unemployment compensation. Therefore, your ability to quit and receive unemployment is at stake; but there is no doubt that, whether you could get unemployment or not, your employer could transfer you this far if the employer wanted.


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