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Am I being forced to quit when my employer offers me a job 50 miles away.

by Tina M
(Woodbridge VA. )

Well, I've been working for a company for a year and was hired to work in the Va Office. I just found out that the lease will not be renewed and that I'll be laid-off in a couple of weeks.

Since then I was told that I would not be laid off but offered a position in the main office that's 50 miles away. Why did they changed there minds about laying me off. Driving 50 miles one way in thick traffic will take me at lease 2-hours commuting time one way.

The bosses don't even make the hump to come down to visit and the office is less than 50 miles from the main location. I just want to know if they're doing it so I won't be able to collect unemployment for whatever reason. What are the rules in VA for something like this?

Hi Tina,

Let's take a look at Virginia's statute dealing with disqualifications. Pay close attention to 3(b) and C(2)

3. a. If it is determined by the Commission that such individual has failed, without good cause, either to apply for available, suitable work when so directed by the employment office or the Commission or to accept suitable work when offered him. The disqualification shall commence with the week in which such failure occurred, and shall continue for the period of unemployment next ensuing until he has performed services for an employer (i) during 30 days, whether or not such days are consecutive, or (ii) for 240 hours, and subsequently becomes totally or partially separated from such employment.

b. In determining whether or not any work is suitable for an individual, the Commission shall consider the degree of risk involved to his health, safety and morals, his physical fitness and prior training, his experience, his length of unemployment and the accessibility of the available work from his residence.

c. No work shall be
deemed suitable and benefits shall not be denied under this title to any otherwise eligible individual for refusing to accept new work under any of the following conditions:

(1) If the position offered is vacant due directly to a strike, lockout, or other labor dispute;

(2) If the wages, hours, or other conditions of the work offered are substantially less favorable to the individual than those prevailing for similar work in the locality; or

(3) If as a condition of being employed the individual would be required to join a company union or to resign from or refrain from joining any bona fide labor organization.

I also took a look at Virginia's Unemployment Precedent Manual.

You'll need to go to Voluntary Leaving then section 150. I could not find a specified increase in distance that is a threshold for good cause, but I did read a decision that denied a person because he actually accepted a job at the employer's new location, 100 miles away and when he couldn't sell his house after nine months and decided the job wasn't working out for him anymore he quit....and they denied his benefits even though he took the damn job because the alternative was to be laid off.

Virginia is not one of those sympathetic states. They have a UI recipiency rate well below the national average, but this is not to say that if you quit...since they're not going to lay you off, that 50 miles would not be considered good cause. I'm just saying I can't find a decision right now to definitively verify it would be good cause.

It may very well depend upon how far you presently travel to work.

If anyone else knows, speak up and post a comment.

If you do decide to quit...DO NOT quit until you're expected to go the extra fifty miles...that would be premature. Quitting in anticipation is a mistake.


Comments for Am I being forced to quit when my employer offers me a job 50 miles away.

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Feb 03, 2009
by: Anonymous

Okay- I see! If I'm not mistaken I saw somewhere on the VA unemployment website that traveling in excess of 50 miles one way would be considered a reason for turning down employment. I'll actually be traveling 57 miles. I already know that if I keep my job and, and decided to attempt that hump everyday, I'll be out of a job within months. Management do not take lightly to lateness. And there's always an incident on the route I'll need to travel. Hell, they've held up meetings waiting for the VA staff to arrive! WOW- this is soo frustrating. I don't know what to do!!! Thanks so much for answering my question. I'm glad I signed in and left my e-mail address, because I couldn't find this site to save mt life. :)

Hi Anonymous,

If you happen to find where you saw that information that says 50 miles is to far, consider coming back here to copy and paste the address. For the next person asking...who finds themselves in the same situation.


Aug 12, 2011
I can give you advice on your posted question
by: Not My First Rodeo

Hi Tina: The information given to you is correct. There is not a Precedent Decision that will directly answer your question. When you read a Precedent Decision, you must remember that the ruling will address that section of the Law. However, you need to read that part of the Law (Quit or Suitable Work) and "adjust" the case to fit your situation. ie: I thought I quit, but I can see, after reading this decision on suitable work, that I did not quit. My case was ruled under the Suitable Work statue. It is difficult for me to explain in writing. Your separation would be considered a vol. quit. Why? Your employer's offer of continuous work, and (if you refused the new location) your refusal of the work, means that you quit your job. NOW, that does not mean you won't get unemployment. Some think that if you quit, you don't get benefits. WRONG! If you refuse the offer & file a claim, you will have a fact-finding hearing with a "Deputy" He/She will ask you & the Employer ?s to verify reason your job ended at the original site. Then, the Deputy will ask ?s of the employer about the new work site, main ?-distance of travel, & travel time. If there is now a 50 mile distance, & a 2 hr. travel time, that would do it for me. I would pay you. However, I feel sure the Deputy will feel mandated to ask other questions, as required in the fact-finding.
If you have other ?s, make another Comment. Hope this helps.

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