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Patrick, Esq.
Patrick, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 12942
Experience:  Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
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I work non profit agency in ny. I am a supervisor. My

Customer Question

I work for a non profit agency in ny. I am a supervisor. My daughter works in the same office. The agency has allowed this for over 5 years. She is supervised by another staff member. They are now requiring her to take another position in another office in the agency. Travel is a hardship for her as she has a child with lukemia. They are telling her she will be terminated if she does not take it.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 2 years ago.
Hello and welcome. I am so sorry to hear about the situation your daughter is faced with. Are you asking whether this is legal? What exactly is your question?
I very much look forward to helping you on this matter.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
is it legal?
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 2 years ago.
Thank you.
The rule in NY is that employment is "at will" absent an express agreement to the contrary. At will employment can be terminated or modified for any reason not amounting to discrimination on the basis of a legally protected trait (race, religion, gender, etc.) or retaliation for engaging in certain forms of legally protected conduct (filing a wage claim, taking FMLA leave, etc.). It doesn't matter whether the basis for termination is fair, reasonable or even true.
Thus, there is nothing unlawful about an employer changing their policy with respect to family members working in the same office, and then making further employment contingent on accepting a position at a different office. All you can do in this circumstance is attempt to reason with your employer about why the transfer is unnecessary. If you would be able to engage in travel but your daughter cannot, then perhaps you could offer to take the transfer instead of her.
If your daughter refuses the transfer and can prove that she had no practical way of accepting it, she should be eligible for unemployment benefits because she will be unemployed through no fault of her own. That would be her sole legal recourse under the circumstances, as unfair and as unfortunate as that is.
I hope that you find this information helpful and am genuinely sorry if it is not what you were hoping to hear. Please do not hesitate to let me know if you have any questions or concerns regarding the above and I will be more than happy to assist you further.