If my employer is trying to force me to go to another site owned by it, is there anything that can do without losing my job?

UPDATED: Sep 13, 2011

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If my employer is trying to force me to go to another site owned by it, is there anything that can do without losing my job?

I work at a hospital and we have been being severely downstaffed. I have now been told that I am going to be sent to another hospital at my employer’s whim. So, even though they have no obligation to pay me for 40 hours and I can be downstaffed at any time, I am required to hold myself available for when they decide to bring me in. Is there any legal way I can resist being sent to a site I was not originally hired for without losing my job? As background, I have child care issues due to my husband working more when I am told I won’t be working.

Asked on September 13, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Pennsylvania


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

IF the other site is so far that it is not reasonable for you to commute to it (e.g. your original commute was 20 minutes; for the new site, it would be 3 hours each way), then you might be able to quit your job and collect unemployment. That, unfortunately, is very likely the best you can do--unless you have an employment contract to the contrary--since employers have essentially complete discretion as to job terms and conditions, including location. It doesn't matter, unfortunately, where you were hired for; it also does not matter about your child care issues, since regardless of whether we, as a society, *should* take this into account, the fact is, at present, employers are not required to consider an employee's child care needs. So apart from possibly being able to collect unemployment in some situations, if it is effectively impossible to commute to the new site, you likely do not have any recourse.

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