Is it legal for company to transfer an employee without his prior knowledge to a different town which will require him to drive 2 hours to work?

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Is it legal for company to transfer an employee without his prior knowledge to a different town which will require him to drive 2 hours to work?

Asked on April 17, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Kentucky

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Yes, it is legal, unless you had an employment contract which specified your place of employment; otherwise, the employer has free rein to determine location of employment.

At a certain distance, however, you could consider yourself to have been "constructively terminated"--or effectively fired, since the worksite you have been transferred to is too far to reasonably expect someone to commute. If that is the case, you could leave unemployment and collect unemployment benefits. Before doing so, however, consult with an employment law attorney in detail about the situation; there is no hard-and-fast line about when a transfer is too far, but rather it depends  on all the circumstances (e.g. how far did you drive previously--i.e. it's different to go from 20 minutes to 120, than from 90 minutes to 120; where do you live and far do people there generally drive; etc.). It's important to review the situation with experienced counsel to detemine if you may be considered to be constructively terminated.


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