Can an employer force you to change the primary location that you work to one that is 17 miles away and would create a 2 hour commute time?

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Can an employer force you to change the primary location that you work to one that is 17 miles away and would create a 2 hour commute time?

Asked on February 12, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Oregon

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Do you have an employment contract or union agreement that prevents this action? Does it violate company policy? Does it constitute some form of legally actionable discrimination? If not, then it is legal. The fact is that most work relationships are "at will". This means that an employer can set the terms and conditions of employment much as it sees fit. This includes at what location an employee will work at. For their part, the employee can either comply with an employer's mandate or quit. That having been said, if the employee does voluntarily leave their job, under the circumstances they can claim "constructive termination", since as a pratical matter a 2 hour commute would generally be deemed to be unreasonable. The employee may then qualify for unemployment benefits.


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