Can I Be Fired for Moving Out of State During the Pandemic?

Can I Be Fired for Moving Out of State During the Pandemic?

Michelle Patrick
Michelle Patrick
 | 
Generally speaking, if you moved to a different state when your company began working remotely and the company now wants you back in the office, but you never told them that you moved, you can be fired.

There are a few exceptions to that answer.


Employers have a right to decide what is best for their workplace.

They may have been forced to allow employees to work remotely because of the pandemic but they have every right to require employees to return to the office now that there is less risk. 


In addition, employers may feel that allowing employees to work in a different state will impose hardships on them that they do not want to deal with. For example, employers are responsible for withholding and paying both federal and state taxes. While federal taxes would remain the same, state and local taxes would change. If for example, you are working and living in California and that’s where your employer is based, then your employer will follow California law.

The employer will know exactly what taxes need to be withheld from your paycheck and what taxes it needs to pay. State taxes in California and Florida are different. Cities and towns in California and Florida are different. If you moved to Florida, but your employer is located in California and only has employees in California, they may not want to have to deal with the hassle of figuring out and applying Florida state and local taxes.


Employment At Will

Most employees are at will. At will employment means that you can be fired at any time for any reason unless it’s a discriminatory reason. Discrimination occurs when you are fired, or treated differently at work, based on your being a member of a protected class. Protected classes include race, sex, religion, national origin and disability.

Exceptions to Employment At Will

One exception to employment at will includes employees who have a written employment agreement setting forth the terms of the relationship between the employer and employee. This is different from an offer letter. If you have an employment agreement then you should check your agreement to see if it mentions anything about where you live. If it does, and you violated it, then you can be fired for breach of contract. If it does not have a specific clause, then you need to look at the other clauses in the agreement to see what you can and cannot be fired for. 

Another exception may be based on your job.

Certain jobs require employees to live in a certain state or city. Government jobs in particular might require you to live in the state or city in which you work. Since that is a specified job requirement, you can be fired for moving and not telling your employer. 


Assuming that neither of the above examples apply and that you are an at will employee, which is the case for most employees, then you need to see how your employer is treating other employees.

If there are other employees working out of state, then you might be able to convince your employer to let you do the same.


If your employer refuses to allow you to work remotely, you might be able to argue that you are being discriminated against IF the employees working out of state belong to a different protected class. The circumstances surrounding the other employees working out of state would be key to any possible claim.

For example, if an employer allows a man to work out of state, but refuses to allow a woman, then the woman might have a discrimination claim. However, if that man is also disabled or had a prior written agreement allowing him to work out of state, then there may be no argument that the woman was discriminated against. Different job levels would also be a factor. For example, a receptionist working from home is very different from a writer. 

It is best to consult with a lawyer if you are concerned that you will be fired. A lawyer can advise you of your rights and give you advice on how to best talk deal with your employer. 


This article is intended to convey generally useful information only and does not constitute legal advice. Any opinions expressed are solely those of the author, not LawChamps. 
 
Michelle Patrick

Find My Lawyer

Start by selecting your legal need:
Business / Employment

Business / Employment

Family / Personal / Injury / Immigration

Family / Personal / Injury / Immigration

Criminal Defense / Civil Rights

Criminal Defense / Civil Rights

Real Estate / Housing

Real Estate / Housing

Estate Planning / Power of Attorney

Estate Planning / Power of Attorney

Review & Rating Images LawChamps
LawChamps Reviews

"I was able to find just the right lawyer for my case. It was easy to use."

Lucy Coutinho

Client

Review & Rating Images LawChamps
LawChamps Reviews

"Very easy for me to get connected with an experienced attorney."

Robert Knox Jr

Client

Review & Rating Images LawChamps
LawChamps Reviews

"It was super easy. It was super fast and I got connected pretty quickly."

Lenasia Smalls

Client

Client Testimonial - Triso Valls
LawChamps Reviews

"It’s easy to register and match with a lawyer according to your legal [need]."

Triso Valls

Client

Ready To Get Started?

Find Your Lawyer NowLawChamps Arrow Icon

Related Posts

Demystifying Your Copyright License Agreement

Scott Dylan Westerlund | 23 September, 2021

Inventive humans are always creating, but it’s still a shock that at least 2.5 quintillion bytes of data gets created every day! With that much content getting crea...

Read More Arrow Icon

Demystifying Your Copyright License Agreement

Sona Sulakian | 04 August, 2021

  Copyright protects certain original, creative works, such as movies, songs, books, computer software, and even architecture. One perk of having a copyright is t...

Read More Arrow Icon

Which Entity Structure Should You Choose for Your New B...

Sona Sulakian | 04 August, 2021

Are you starting a new business but aren’t which entity type to choose? Here’s an overview of the main business entity structures and key considerations for e...

Read More Arrow Icon

Related Posts

Hire One, Help Another

LawChamps donates a portion of our revenue, investing it back into funding justice reform organizations and subsidizing the legal fees for those who cannot afford them.
Learn More