Is there any legal recourse for an employee who is being relocated to a new job site in a different city?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Is there any legal recourse for an employee who is being relocated to a new job site in a different city?

Im being moved to a new city which will be an additional 45
minutes or more to my commute. I spoke with HR and the
distance is just shy of where the policy kicks in. Does
California have any special protections I can use. Does the
Fair Labor Standards Act have any protection or
compensation I can seek?

Asked on April 29, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

There really is no set or secure recourse for you. If the total commute is not so far that no reasonable person would do it, you could in theory quit and get unemployment on the theory you were "constructively"--or effectively--terminated by the job being made impossible, or at least wholly unreasonable, but that is a subjective judgement: how far is too far? It is not a guaranty that unemployment would agree and give you benefits. Much depends on the current length of your commute: if you are currently commuting a 1/2 hour or less, an extra 3/4 of an hour would not typically be seen as too far: many people commute more than an hour to work. (Certainly in my area, northern NJ, they do: hour to hour-and-half commutes each way are common.) If you are currently commuting an hour-and-a-half or more, then the extra 45 minutes may well be too much. Unfortunately, you don't know whether any claim for unemployment will be honored unless and until your try.

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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