Can turning down a mandatory relocation be considered a reason to disqualify me from unemployment benefits?

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Can turning down a mandatory relocation be considered a reason to disqualify me from unemployment benefits?

I have recently been given notice that “your position is no longer needed effective X” but you are being offered relocation 1100 miles away. All employees in my department work in a FL office. I’ve been the sole employee working from a remote office in TX for the last 7 years. My work is done on a computer, and hasn’t changed. A new CFO in the company wants everyone together. They offer limited moving costs and partial commission reimbursement. I am opposed to relocating for many reasons. If I don’t show up in FL, I will be out of work.

Asked on August 20, 2011 Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You *should* be able to get unemployoment compensation, though you should contact the Texas Workforce Commission, which is the agency or department in charge of unemployment, to confirm. Below I will paste in a link to their website for your reference.

Usually, an employee is not eligible for unemployment insurnace or compensation if he or she voluntarily leaves a job, including refusing some promotion or transfer. There is an exception, however, when the job change is such that  the employee has been "constructively terminated"--that is, when the job has changed in a way that makes it impossible to keep doing it. Having to relocate 1/2 way across the country would be an exampel of a constructive termination, since people are not required to uproot their lives. So you should be eligible for unemployment, but should definitely contact the commission to check.

Here is the website; good luck: http://www.twc.state.tx.us/ui/uiclaim.html


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