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Patrick, Esq.
Patrick, Esq., Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 12933
Experience:  Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
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I was just told today at 6:00 PM by my District Manager that

Resolved Question:

I was just told today at 6:00 PM by my District Manager that I am being transferred to another retail store 15 miles away. I do not drive and my husbands uses our car for his work and he drops me off and picks me up. My manager knew this when she hired me I do not drive.

The reason for the transfer was because my Manager is upset at me for standing up to her after she embarrassed me in front of a client. Then she made up a store to my District Manager that I left a customer in the middle of a sale to argue with her.

Then the District Manager tries to tell me that I am the best person for the job for the other store. Then I tell her that I don't drive and I can not make it. Then she tells me I am not on the schedule at my store and I need to start Saturday.

What Can I do

Please Help Lani
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: California Employment Law
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 5 years ago.
Lani,

Hello and thank you for entrusting me to answer your question. I am so incredibly sorry to hear about your work transfer and what sounds like a very unpleasant and irrational manager.

I hope that you will appreciate my very honest answer to your question although it is not what you are hoping to hear.

Unfortunately, management has the right to make arbitrary and completely unfounded decisions regarding work transfers and employee discipline unless the basis for the decision is discriminatory in nature. Employment action is only discriminatory if it is motivated by an employee's race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition, marital status, sex, age (over 40), or sexual orientation.

This tremendous freedom to transfer and instate discipline stems from Labor Code section 2922, which provides that employment in the state of California is "at will," absent an agreement to the contrary. Courts have interpreted this to mean that, since an employer retains discretion to terminate employees for no reason, he or she also retains the authority to dictate the terms of employment and change them at any time.

I think we have all been there with bosses that we felt we needed to stand up against. I know that I have. The problem is that as employees in the state of California, we have no right to do that and employers have every right to take adverse employment action against us, even if they are completely in the wrong. Again, this goes back to the doctrine of "at will" employment that I described above.

If you are truly unable to make the commute to this other work site, an individual in your circumstance may be eligible to collect unemployment benefits in the event that you forced to quit due to the impossibility of the commute. Normally, employees ho quit are not eligible for benefits. See this link from the EDD for more information: http://edd.ca.gov/UIBDG/Voluntary_Quit_VQ_150.htm#Transportation

So to summarize, while I am completely sympathetic to your circumstance and in fact can relate to how you must feel, I am of course limited to telling you what the law provides in this instance. Unfortunately, California's doctrine of at wil employment permits employers to take adverse employment action such as transferring an employee at any time and for any reason--even if the basis is completely unfair. Thus, there would be no legal recourse against an employer in this circumstance. The only silver lining is that if you were transferred somewhere that you simply could not commute to, an individual in your circumstance may be eligible to collect unemployment benefits even if you quit the position.

I sincerely XXXXX XXXXX this information helps you and I wish you the best.

My absolute greatest concern is that you are satisfied with the answer I provide, so please do not hesitate to contact me with follow-up questions. Finally, none of the above constitutes legal advice nor is any attorney client relationship created between us.
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