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Learning, Sharing, and Teaching => Ask a Mustachian => Topic started by: jeromedawg on April 16, 2021, 02:32:48 PM

Title: Company relocation strategy and layoffs?
Post by: jeromedawg on April 16, 2021, 02:32:48 PM
Hey all,

Have any of you ever gone through any sort of 'relocation strategy' where your company tried to get you to relocate to an area that you weren't willing to move to?
Obviously, if you're not willing to then they'll just let you go. But does this basically just translate to you being laid off (and you getting severance)?
Or is this a potential means by which companies can fire you without it being considered a layoff and thus avoiding having to pay out severance?
Title: Re: Company relocation strategy and layoffs?
Post by: GuitarStv on April 16, 2021, 02:51:56 PM
If the company gives you sufficient notice of the move (usually around a year in advance in Toronto) they can just go through with it and tell you to screw off if you ask for severance.  It's not really a layoff because they're not laying you off . . . they're changing location and then you're refusing to move to accommodate the new terms of your employment.
Title: Re: Company relocation strategy and layoffs?
Post by: robartsd on April 16, 2021, 03:40:20 PM
Labor laws at the location they would be moving you from may require something (like the 1 year notice GuitarStv mentions). I don't believe that you are ever owed any severance based on labor law in California. Your company must pay out any unused vacation leave you have accumulated upon separation (they have to pay this even if they fire you). I believe you would be considered laid off for unemployment purposes even if the loss of the job is because you don't want to move (there might be a distance test for this, but I'm sure you'd qualify if the new location is >50 miles from the current location). Anything beyond this would likely be based on your contract.
Title: Re: Company relocation strategy and layoffs?
Post by: yachi on April 16, 2021, 03:54:28 PM
Doing some Googling, it looks like the required notice in the US and California might only be 60 days.

https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/layoff-protections-california-employees.html (https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/layoff-protections-california-employees.html)
Title: Re: Company relocation strategy and layoffs?
Post by: legalstache on April 16, 2021, 04:38:09 PM
My wife went through this and got a severance and was able to collect unemployment. Companies are often motivated to offer a severance because the employee signs an agreement waiving all claims against the company in exchange.
Title: Re: Company relocation strategy and layoffs?
Post by: Rdy2Fire on April 16, 2021, 06:34:48 PM
My wife went through this and got a severance and was able to collect unemployment. Companies are often motivated to offer a severance because the employee signs an agreement waiving all claims against the company in exchange.

This ^^ is sort of what happened at my friends company before COVID. Not sure they did it for everyone but no one on his team was going to relocate and we looking into the legalities. The company came back and gave the employees 'stay on' bonuses and a limited severance as long as they stayed and agreed to not pursue anything legally, even agreed not to deny unemployment.
Title: Re: Company relocation strategy and layoffs?
Post by: Dee_ on April 16, 2021, 07:34:57 PM
I feel like now, of all times, would be an excellent time to negotiate a remote work arrangement. SO got a job in New Mexico, but I have no intention of ever living there. We had planned trying to negotiate a remote arrangement (i.e. he flies down once a month for a few days or something) but then COVID made it moot.
Title: Re: Company relocation strategy and layoffs?
Post by: jeromedawg on April 16, 2021, 10:32:58 PM
I feel like now, of all times, would be an excellent time to negotiate a remote work arrangement. SO got a job in New Mexico, but I have no intention of ever living there. We had planned trying to negotiate a remote arrangement (i.e. he flies down once a month for a few days or something) but then COVID made it moot.

What's ridiculous about all this is that I already am WFH - in fact, a significant number of people at my company are WFH and were WFH prior to COVID. I started here end of 2015 btw... the strategy they're trying to employ is to eventually relocate and co-locate all employees into central hub locations across the nation (even though many other companies are doing the opposite). They are stubbornly adamant about this strategy and continue pushing it forward and talking about it in anticipation of COVID "winding down"