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California Employment Law: Employer Induced me to Move

Los Angeles Employment Attorney represents the working men and women throughout the state, many of whom are offered jobs here in California (especially Silicon Valley, Santa Clara County), and when they get here, find out that the job was not as advertised. This can also be true for employees simply moving from one city in California to another. Our Labor Code Section 970 protects employees from misrepresentations as to the kind, nature or duration of the job. Emphasizing how seriously we as a State take these false promises, Labor Code 972 offers double damages (no court ruling has actually clarified whether this applies just to the cost of the move or all of the damages such as emotional distress, that such a move might cause).

A recent article in the New York Times suggests that moves over a long, interstate distance may not be occurring with as much frequency as in the past. Several reasons are given for this downsizing from 7.5 million moves in 1999 to 4.8 million in 2012. Even immigrants are more likely to stay put. Here’s some ideas for you on why that is:

1.  You gotta have a new job offer to move! You gotta be able to qualify for a mortgage where you move! You gotta sell your home (or lease it)! Kind of a Trifecta of Wammies.

2.  Aging population. Older folks move less often.

3.  Rising cost of living in most popular destinations like New York and San Francisco. This makes moves more likely to cheaper places, like San Bernardino and the Inland Empire in California. In fact, this is our busiest employment attorney office.

4.  Similarity of earnings in all locations. Kaplan and Schullhofer have reported on and concluded that the homogeneous nature of income means there is less incentive to move.

5.  Work tends to be divided by the same job classifications and categories in each city, so that a health care worker, for example, may find it unnecessary to make a long move, uprooting the kids and spouse, just to take an identical job 1,000 miles away.

6. More work is service-related, which does not depend on a particular geographic region. For example, even in steel production, less manual labor is engaged in.

7. Use of the Internet to make the right choice the first time. In the good old days, information on a new city was limited to word of mouth and perhaps one personal visit at a holiday time. Now, the Internet gives an employee as much information as they could need before making that first (and perhaps only) move.

Nothing should suggest that moving less means we have a less dynamic country or economy. If people don’t “have” to move, why should they?  And if we as employment attorneys have fewer California Labor Code 970 cases to file, is that such a bad thing?