Can an employer force a mandatory meeting outside the workplace?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Can an employer force a mandatory meeting outside the workplace?

The offsite location is not owned by the employer, and is not relevant to the job in any capacity. The offsite location is not a seminaror similar hosted by a 3rd party, or for training purposes. The offsite location was not chosen because there was insufficient capacity at the workplace to host such a meeting. The business in question does have meeting rooms to hold such an event. There appears to be no legitimate reason to hold such a meeting off site. Can an employer force a mandatory meeting outside the workplace with or without these factors in place?

Asked on January 25, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Oregon


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

In an "at will" work arrangement, absent some form of actionable discrimination, a company can set the conditions of employment much as it sees fit. This includes where and when to conduct mandatory meetings. Accordingly, unless you have protection via the terms of an employment contract or union agreement, you must attend. Further you can be terminated, suspended or otherwise disciplined if you do not. The fact is that an employee can be fired for any reason or no reason at all, with or without notice.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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