Is it legal if my boss called me and told me I had to transfer an hour away or get laid off, and that I had to make the decision right then?

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Is it legal if my boss called me and told me I had to transfer an hour away or get laid off, and that I had to make the decision right then?

I feel bullied into a decision considering it was a take it or leave it situation. I just need to know if they were within their rights and if my rights have been violated?

Asked on August 3, 2010 under Employment Labor Law, Kentucky

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

There is, unfortunately, no right to not be bullied or put on the spot at work, or to not have to make a snap decision, unless--

* The employee has a contract to the contrary

* The employer is discriminating against the employee on the basis of a legally protected characteristic, such as race, religion, sex, age over 40, or disability

If one of those situations doesn't apply, you're an employee at will, and a company can tell an employee to accept a transfer on the spot or be terminated.

Note that it *may* be the case where you could resign and still get unemployment, on the grounds you were "constructively terminated" by being transferred to far. Had it been 3 hours away, it would be very likely; 1 hour away, it's not clear, but it may be worthwhile contacting the unemployment office and posing the question, or consulting with an employment attorney.


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