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

UPDATED: Aug 20, 2011

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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


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 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:

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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