Telecommute – Hiring agreement vs. non-referenced policy

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Telecommute – Hiring agreement vs. non-referenced policy

Approximately eight years ago I was hired as an out-of-state telework employee. My employment application references my out-of-state address, and I selected no to the question are you willing to relocate. My hiring letter states an agreement to telework outside of the state. My understanding is that as an out-of-state employee my position is performance-based and I have maintained a high-performance review rating. After completing eight years, all with high performance reviews and multiple comments of high praise, my Director decided to make a policy change, one which he felt superseded my hiring agreement, and gave me less than three weeks to relocate with no relocation assistance.

My question is, does a non-referenced policy change supersede my hiring agreement?

Asked on July 16, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, Ohio

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 1 year ago | Contributor

Your "hiring agreement" was not an "agreement" or contract in a legally binding sense unless it was not only in writing, but was for a defined period of time (e.g. a five-year contract) which has not yet expired (or which was in writing renewed for a successive term or terms, which have not expired). Employment in this nation is employment at will; that means that the employer may legally change its terms or conditions at will, except if and only to the extent limited or restricted by a written contract which locks in certain terms or provisions for a defined period. Without such a contract, they can no require you to relocate and not let you work remotely.


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