Can an employer force you to move?

whydotheheathenrage Asked: Can an employer force you to move?

My husband recently interviewed for a promotion at work.We had talked about the necessity to move / deal with a long commute prior to his interview and we agreed as a couple that he would not accept the position if it required a move but would be willing to make due with a long commute (as long as 70 miles some days as he is managing multiple locations).

He got the promotion, began work and was soon after told that his new supervisor considered a move "critical."This has caused a great deal of stress in our marriage.My husband signed a relocation package on the spot; the details are still not entirely clear to me and I have not been provided with any paperwork as he "turned it in."This has obviously caused even more stress on our marriage.

My questions are:

Can an employer fire you for refusing to move if you are willing to commute to whatever location they require?

We received a deposit for $10,000 in our account yesterday for "relocation expenses."Is it possible to simply pay this amount back and refuse the relocation package or are we locked in at this point? – The house is also in my name and I have signed nothing; although, if I were to fight his employer I am almost certain that we would end up divorced and that is not the future I want for myself, my husband and our kids.

I'm sure this last question is probably unanswerable without the paperwork, but how far do we have to move to qualify for relocation?I am not 100% opposed to moving around 30 miles north and allowing my 16 year old to commute to his high school every day.50 miles or more obviously makes this unfeasible for a young driver.

It's nearly 2AM and I'm obviously kind of desperate to posting to Yahoo! Answers, but I am at my wits end with my husband's unilateral decision-making.I want to make things work and am looking for points of compromise but also feel like my entire world has been turned upside down.

Thanks for any advice!


SDeck Answered:
Of course they can, they can relocate your position elsewhere and you can either take it or they can get someone else.They aren't obligated to keep their company or positions in any location.

Judy Answered:
They can't force you to move.But they can fire him if he refuses, and it would be legal.If you just pay back the $10K relocation money, you're still left with the issue of the employer requiring him to move to get the promotion.He might be able to turn down the promotion and just stay in his current job, but only if the employer agrees.

It's not unheard of, or out of line or illegal, for an employer to expect someone to live within a certain range from his workplace.

Sounds like the two of you have some serious talking to do, and some serious decisions to make.Good luck.

adrunkenbum Answered:
no this is still the USA, you're not property they can't force you to do anything. you don't say what state you're in, here in Michigan its an "at will" employment state. we can be fired or quit with or without notice. if you are not working your husband may see this as an only option unless you can live on unemployment. most employers make this conditional for managers, if you want the job you do what it requires. so i guess it depends on if the job is worth it or not. I don't agree with the unilateral decisions though, he should at least ask what you think.
good luck and God bless

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