Can an employer require a spouse to relocate with their employee-spouse?

UPDATED: Jan 16, 2011

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Can an employer require a spouse to relocate with their employee-spouse?

My husband works for a church, but this requirement was not stated in his contract. He has been given an ultimatum, that I move now or he loose his job. He took the job 3 weeks before the stock market crashed in 2008 and our home is in a flooded housing market due to overbuilt spec homes in metro Atlanta. We cannot afford to rent and pay our mortgage simultaneously on his salary. However, I intend to move when our house sells. Is it legal for the church to now make this a requirement without extra compensation for rent during this economic hardship?

Asked on January 16, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Georgia


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

A contract is a contract, even with a Church.  You and the Church are bound by the terms of the contract.  If the terms d not state that you must move to be with him then I would stick to your guns.  The Church may state that it was assumed or that there search and hire criteria were implicit in the nature of the position (is he  Pastor?).  But the reality is that if they did not specifically state it in the contract that he signed then they could be out of luck.  Your Husband needs to take the contract to an employment attorney to review and discuss his options.  No one can force you to financial ruin like this.  Good luck. 

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