Telecommute – Hiring agreement vs. non-referenced policy

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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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reviews and multiple comments of high praise, my Director decided to make a policy change, one which he felt superseded my hiring agreement, and gave me less than three weeks to relocate with no relocation assistance.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


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years 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.

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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