How Relocation Affects the Employment At-Will Relationship

By hrlineup | 31.01.2021

During relocation, an organization has to consider the employee’s performance and availability. Helping with the relocation process can prove beneficial to the employees. Most organizations assist in the relocation process through financial assistance and finding a new home for relocating individuals.

A business can be relocated to a different location for various reasons. The employer must handle the process carefully to avoid a massive impact on stakeholders or make the company lose a lot of money in the process. You must consider important factors that will affect the relocation of work process before making a decision.

Not all employees take relocation matters lightly, especially those with families. They have an established lifestyle here, so what do you expect? Workplace relocations can make or break a family, and that’s why most employees take a back seat on this one unless there is enormous compensation.

The fear of getting acquainted in their new location chips in. They wonder if their new homes will be comfortable and affordable if schools and hospitals will be nearby, or if they will manage to commute to their new place of work should they refuse the relocation offer.

When there is an employment at will contract, an employee has a right to quit their job position whenever they see fit. On the other hand, the employer can fire without a termination letter or notice for as long as the reason for termination is legal. The big question here is, can an employee refuse to be transferred? Find out.

An employer does not necessarily have a right to relocate an employee unless they have a valid reason for relocation. Some of the useful factors for relocation include,

  • Employees position in the organization
  • The number of employees and organization branches
  • If the reason for relocation benefits the organization and does not harm the employee.
  • Personal circumstances that force the employee to move, among others.

As stated above, the Employment at will contract does not restrict the employer from taking dismissal actions. Unless there is a written term that limits the employee from relocating, the employer has a right to dismiss if the employee refuses to relocate.

On the other hand, when a company relocates, it mostly considers its well-being, which saves them money, increases income and profits. Employees will suffer the consequences, especially if the company has no choice but to lay them off. If your contract is an employment at will contract, the organization won’t be liable for any compensation whatsoever.

It is advisable to keep active communication with employees before issuing a workplace relocation notice. Letting them know the possibility of relocation before giving the notice prepares them for when the time comes.

You do not have a right to hold an employee accountable in case they refuse to relocate. Instead, try coming up with reasons to convince them of the importance of relocating the business. In case they do not want to relocate, you may decide whether to fire them or not, depending on their performance.