Remote workers asked to ignore boss’s “deal breaker”.

Remote work has evolved from a by-product of the COVID-19 lockdowns into a critical aspect of wellbeing for many American workers, including one employee who said she was threatened with termination for refusing to work in the office.

The desperate worker took to Reddit’s Antiwork forum last week and posted under the username u/pugpaws17. Her story, which echoes others on social media, garnered 8,400 votes.

The employee said she was hired for a 100 percent remote position. This worked well for her as she lives a two hour drive from work and turns an 8am to 5pm day at the office into a 13 hour work day. The cost of traveling and caring for her two dogs would also be exorbitant for her, she said.

But on Thursday, her boss told her employees needed to work in the office once a week – adding, “If that’s a deal breaker, then he gets it.”

The clerk said this condition is indeed a deal breaker as it skyrocketed her car expenses, pet care and the initial promise that her job would always stay away.

Woman works from home with baby
A mother holds her 5-month-old daughter while working from home during the COVID-19 lockdown on April 14, 2020 in Majadahonda, Madrid, Spain. The ability to work remotely has become a key factor in wellbeing for many employees.

“He said it’s fine, no nasty feelings, just let him know when my last day will be,” the worker said. “I was stunned, I said, ‘Oh, it’s a deal breaker since I’m getting fired?’ “He said yes it’s a condition and if I can’t meet it I’ll be fired. He was urging me to quit and I told him I had no intention of quitting. He said if it was unemployment that got me.” worried that’s fine, they’ll fire me if I prefer.”

The clerk said she was “at a loss” and “in a very bad place” after that meeting, leading her to look for another job.

This was announced by employment attorney Ryan Stygar news week Your situation is anything but unusual.

“There has been a worrying number of employers using offers of ‘remote work’ to lure candidates only to require 100 percent in-office work once the job offer has been accepted,” Stygar said. “Whether that’s illegal depends on the type of employment contract.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has made working from home in workplaces across the United States the norm. According to McKinsey’s American Opportunity Survey, as of spring 2022, 58 percent of Americans said they could work remotely at least one day a week, while 35 percent said they could work from home five days a week.

The survey also found that when employees are offered the opportunity to work remotely, an overwhelming 87 percent seize the opportunity.

By default, companies that offer telecommuting on their contract and pull a 180 after employment begins have an advantage, Stygar said. Employers have great discretion to tailor work environments to their business needs.

Nonetheless, workers may have recourse in certain scenarios.

“If the remote work agreement is an essential provision of the employment contract, the employer is effectively in breach of their contract,” Stygar said. “If the worker did in fact suffer a job change (e.g., being refused another job or leaving his previous position) because he was relying on the employer’s promises to work remotely, then a claim for damages in breach of contract could exist.”

Additionally, regardless of company policy, an employee who requires remote working conditions due to a disability may be legally entitled to continue working from home.

Stygar explained, “If the [work-from-home] If the agreement has already been made, the employer risks a discriminatory, non-compliance and wrongful termination lawsuit (typically via a de facto dismissal) if the employer suddenly revokes the agreement without cause.

On Reddit, readers urged u/pugpaws17 to stay on the job until she was specifically fired.

“Be sure to get fired,” recommended one user. “If you quit, you won’t get unemployment benefits.”

Another person agreed: “Don’t quit, just keep working and never say you’re quitting and just see if they let you know they’re quitting. And if he asks you again when your last date is, respond with, ‘I have no intention of quitting, so I won’t put you on a date because I’m not quitting.'”

news week asked u/pugpaws17 for a comment. Remote workers asked to ignore boss’s “deal breaker”.

Rick Schindler

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