Is an employer obligated to fly me home if I quit?

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Is an employer obligated to fly me home if I quit?

I am based out of MO where I’m officially employed but physically I’m on assignment in TX for the past 3 months. I get pay for the hotel, rental car, collecting, per diem, etc. I’ve been offered another job and put in my 2 weeks notice, however employer seems to think that they can keep me in TX until the very last day. However, I need at least a week back in MO. Company policy has been to release people immediately and escort them out when they put in their notice. I’ve witnessed this many times. So I’m surprised that they are attempting to keep me and unresponsive to my requests to be sent home expeditiously. It almost seems like a punishment for quitting combined with their poor manpower planning. What does the law say about this situation? I’m at a point of telling them I quit effective immediately and paying my own airfare.

Asked on March 30, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, Illinois

Answers:

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

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

Unless flying you home under the circumstances if required under the terms of an employment contract or  union agreement, then they are under no obligation to fly you home. Further, your employer need no release you from work early if it does not see fit to do so. The fact is that a company can set the conditons of work much as it deems necessary absent some for of legally actionable discrimination.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

No, they are under no obligation to fly you back if you quit: if you quit, you are not working for them, and why should they have to pay costs for a non-employee? They also do not have any obligation to release you or fly you back early for your convenience; an employer does not need to take its employees needs into account. They can keep you working there as long as is convenient for them, or until you walk off the job. If you want to get home earlier, you'll have to quit immediately and pay for your own airfare.


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