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Can company force relocation? California

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  • Can company force relocation? California

    I am working for a company incorporated in California so California laws apply. My contract states my country of service is in Europe. Now, the company is telling me my only option is to relocate to Asia. There was no proposal to terminate my contract or other option given.

    This move is being taken with a number of employees, and it is clearly intended on making us leave the company with the least amount of cost associated with it (so trying to make us resign instead of terminating and paying any severance).

    Can they force me to move?

    Any advice is appreciated...

    Regards

  • #2
    Originally posted by john_doe_phd View Post
    I am working for a company incorporated in California so California laws apply. My contract states my country of service is in Europe. Now, the company is telling me my only option is to relocate to Asia. There was no proposal to terminate my contract or other option given.

    This move is being taken with a number of employees, and it is clearly intended on making us leave the company with the least amount of cost associated with it (so trying to make us resign instead of terminating and paying any severance).

    Can they force me to move?

    Any advice is appreciated...

    Regards
    No, they can't force you to move but they can terminate you if you do not do so.

    Since you have a contract (with country of serv. as Europe), you might have it reviewed by an employment or contract attorney & get their opinion on the move.
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    • #3
      And the contract may be subject to California law, but U.S. (and California) wage and hour law is not generally applicable if you work totally outside of the U.S. Agree with Betty; have an attorney review the contract.
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      • #4
        Just to make it clear for future readers:

        In all 50 states, as far as the LAW is concerned, an employer may require relocation as a condition of employment or continued employment. If you have a bona fide, enforceable contract or CBA, that document may or may not address the issue. If it does, you will need an attorney to review it.
        The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by cbg View Post
          Just to make it clear for future readers:

          In all 50 states, as far as the LAW is concerned, an employer may require relocation as a condition of employment or continued employment. If you have a bona fide, enforceable contract or CBA, that document may or may not address the issue. If it does, you will need an attorney to review it.
          One further clarification - I understand that the company may ask for relocation. Although my contract states a country of service, it does not address the eventuality of a relocation so let's assume that it does not address how to handle this situation. Am I correct that if I refuse the relocation, then generally speaking the company must terminate me? This would mean that severance would be paid in accordance to the termination of my contract. This is an important point because the company is really trying to intimidate some employees into voluntarily resigning.

          Thanks to everyone for your help. I will be seeking an attorney to review my contract in detail and this has helped me have a better understanding going in!

          Regards

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          • #6
            I cannot read your contract from here. Only an attorney who has read it in full can answer your question specifically to your situation.

            The law does not say that an employer MUST terminate an employee who refuses relocation. The employer MAY terminate an employee who refuses relocation. There's a difference.
            The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

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