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I'm a salaried employee at a Fortune 500 and my contract says nothing specifically about travel (and no mention of anything like % of time traveling in the req etc.)

I was asked to go on a 2 week trip that was then extended to 4 weeks and now I'm being told it could be extended further. Is there any legal limit to how long I can be asked to be out of state on travel? Can my employer just keep indefinitely extending my trip?

  • Are you sure there is nothing in an employee handbook separate from your contract and job description? – user662852 Apr 27 '16 at 20:19
  • You can always refuse. They can always fire you. – Dale M Apr 27 '16 at 20:28
  • Does the employee handbook have some legal bearing on my situation? – Charlie Apr 27 '16 at 22:55
  • @Charlie employee handbooks are typically incorporated into contracts, and also change from time to time (so you can't sit on one from hire date). For a large corporation I'd look to see if there is a policy for being home weekends, or special per diems for multiple week travel. If nothing else, can you expense filet mignon every night? – user662852 Apr 28 '16 at 3:14
  • This question almost certainly has different answers depending on the jurisdiction and the circumstances. That said, if you want to keep you job, you are looking in the wrong place. I suggest you ask about your situation on workplace.stackexchange.com – tomjedrz May 9 '16 at 4:12
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Assumed: United States jurisdiction, no discrimination component to your experiences.

There is not a legal limit on how much time an employer requires you to be in another city so long as the employer is complying with wage and hour laws, family leave laws, and the like. They may be in violation of their employment contract with you if the contract specified that you were being hired for a position in one city. A four-week trip does not sound like "time travelling" to me, it sounds like a temporary posting in another city.

Similarly, depending on how well the contract is drafted, the state whose law governs the employment, and the company's other behavior you may be able to sue them using material misrepresentation or fraudulent statements about the position you would be taking.

If you want more insight into whether you might have a case, take your contract to an attorney.

In practice, however, the solution is almost certainly not a lawsuit. The solution may be to start looking for a new job, to communicate better with your boss, or to figure out how much money it would take to keep you working doing the job you are actually doing rather than the one you were hired to do, and to negotiate a salary increase. Try posting your question with a few more facts over at workplace.stackexchange.com for more insight into how to deal with the problem professionally.

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    you may be able to sue them using material misrepresentation or fraudulent statements about the position you would be taking - this sort of thing might apply, especially if the employer used the fraud to induce you to leave another job, accept a certain salary, or otherwise give up something of value during bargaining. But srsly, that's just blowing sunshine and you're probably hosed. – jqning May 10 '16 at 1:07
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    @Tom - Thanks I will accept. Can you please just tell me what "time travelling" is? The trip has now gone from 2 weeks to 3 months. – Charlie May 10 '16 at 13:24
  • It was not a legal term. :) You asked about travel for work, and I was just indicating that an extended posting in another city does not sound like travelling for work to me, it sounds like a temporary posting (or a full-time-job!) in another city. – Tom May 10 '16 at 17:04
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In every company, you usually find some employees who love travelling and some who hate it. If you don't like it, the first step is to tell your employer that you don't like it, and there is a good chance that they will find someone else who loves taking your place or at least doesn't mind, and everyone is happier.

There may be something in your contract about how long you can be expected to stay away from home. Like being able to fly home and back every two weeks or four weeks. Apart from that, there should be a financial reward for you doing this if it is longer term.

It is unlikely that there is a legal limit, it's all down to negotiations. If you don't want to stay longer, and there was no expectation of that kind of thing when you were hired, then you need to talk to your manager, and worst case find a new job elsewhere.

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