I am currently a remote employee in CO (employer is in AZ). I want to switch states to OR (my employer already has remote W2 employees in OR). My employer already pays state tax there, insurance etc. though they have no building there just as they have no building in CO. Theoretically, there should be zero difference to them, I have confirmed this with payroll. I have confirmed with my manager, and that individual could not care less where I live. I have also discovered, their per-employee cost basis (for remote) is lower in OR than in CO.

It does require a lot of approvals however in our system to change my W2, both with payroll, my manager, my manager's manager and the HR Director + a few others. Some of these individuals are a little personally put off that I'm moving to OR instead of AZ where headquarters is at. If at any point along the way I am denied (I can't think of a valid reason), do I have any legal recourse to force the issue - would it be worth the attempt? Can a company let me go for no other reason than - I moved to a location that hurt their feelings? For example, can my employer say: "We never offered a job to you in OR"? etc.

  • 1
    Generally speaking, you can be let go for no reason at all, unless you have a contract (I assume you don't). They don't even have to tell you why.
    – user6726
    Commented May 3, 2016 at 21:07
  • Doesn't that depend on the state?
    – maplemale
    Commented May 3, 2016 at 21:08
  • 1
    Only in the sense that Montana is the only state without the at-will presumption.
    – user6726
    Commented May 3, 2016 at 22:42
  • 1
    @user6726 Really? That observation alone is an answer I would upvote if verified.
    – feetwet
    Commented May 3, 2016 at 23:34
  • @user6726 I know this is a late comment... but it explains my confusion about this issue and reason for the question. Up until this employer, I had always lived in Montana. I did not know Montana was different from every other state in that way.
    – maplemale
    Commented Oct 26, 2017 at 19:36

2 Answers 2


As Tom says and these guys reiterate (I'm quoting those guys), "Employment relationships are presumed to be “at-will” in all U.S. states except Montana. The U.S. is one of a handful of countries where employment is predominantly at-will". Montana (Dept. of Labor and Industry) also states that they are the only ones in the US like that. Montana Code 39-2-904(1)(b) states that a discharge is unlawful if "the discharge was not for good cause and the employee had completed the employer's probationary period of employment". (2)(a) then states that "During a probationary period of employment, the employment may be terminated at the will of either the employer or the employee on notice to the other for any reason or for no reason". There is a presumptive 6 month probationary period in case an employer say nothing, but it could be longer or shorter (it can be 7 years for university professors, and I don't find anything in the code preventing an employer from setting the probationary period at 50 years).


Employment in the United States is generally "at-will" unless you have a contract that specifies otherwise. Your employer can determine where you have to work just like they can determine what you have to do or even how you have to do it. If you refuse to work there, they can fire you or encourage you to resign.

This sounds like primarily a question that is dealt with through office politics, not through law. There are some exceptions--for example, if you are a member of a minority and one of the people who dislikes you is creating a hostile work environment or is refusing the transfer you while throwing racial slurs your way--but in most cases you deal with an employee transfer through politics and negotiations, not law.

You might want to ask a related question about this scenario over on workplace.stackexchange.com

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