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‘Au revoir’ and ‘Adios’ – An employee does not have the right to insist on transferring his place of work

By Allyson Baker

In a mobile world where many employment tasks can be performed remotely, it is not uncommon for employees to change work locations, moving to another part of the province, across Canada or to other parts of the world, while continuing to work for the same employer. However, in two 2012 decisions, Staley v. Squirrel Systems of Canada Ltd. and Ernst v. Destiny Software Productions Inc., the BC Supreme Court made it clear that an employee is not entitled to insist that the employer must agree to relocate an employee to a location of the employee’s choosing, absent a contractual term providing for such a right. Accordingly, if the employee moves without the employer’s permission, it would entitle the employer to terminate the employee for cause.