am I being pushed out of my job because I’m moving, fundraising when everyone’s remote, and more

It’s five answers to five questions. Here we go…

1. Am I being pushed out of my job because I’m moving?

I’ve been with my current company for more than six years and I’m getting married in two weeks. Hooray! My fiance lives in a different state, and a couple of weeks ago my boss asked what my plans were after my wedding (if I would be moving after I got married). I admitted that yes, I would likely be moving a couple of months after I got married and that I wanted to keep my job. My boss said that’s what she wanted too (for me to keep my job) and that she would talk with HR about my options. I figured it wouldn’t be a problem since we’ve all been working remotely for over a year due to Covid.

Last week, my boss scheduled a meeting with me, her, and HR, and I was told our company will not be supporting employees in any new states other than the ones they currently support and, of course, the state I’m moving to is not on their current list. Therefore, my options are to either terminate my employment at the end of the month that I move or, on the first day of the following month, transition to an employee of my company’s staffing agency and receive the same pay rate (minus all health benefits) for the next six months. The reason they are offering for me to continue on as a contract employee is because my boss convinced HR that I am extremely valuable and our company has a very high workload … so HR is also going to post my job before I even transition to the staffing agency so they can hire for my position while I’m still working for them and help train my replacement over the next six months.

I feel like something’s not right about this situation, like I’m getting the bum end of the deal. I understand that my company made the decision not to register in new states, but to post my job while I’m still working for them, though I’ve never given notice or even hinted I wanted to resign, makes it feel like I’m getting pushed out. I’ve always expressed my desire to remain an integral part of the team, to keep working for them, but with the options they’ve given me, it sounds like they are just planning for me to resign. In addition, they gave me a time frame of one week to make this decision, which puts a lot of pressure on me since I’m literally in the middle of finalizing wedding plans. I just don’t understand what’s driving the rush here. I haven’t even submitted a change of address yet. All I admitted was that I was moving and now it feels like I’m getting pushed out. Can I tell them all to back off until after my wedding at least?

It feels like you’re being pushed out because you are being pushed out. That’s not necessarily unfair or unreasonable though. You told them you’re moving in a couple of months to a state where they’re not legally set up to have employees (likely for reasons like this). I think you’re seeing it as “but I haven’t resigned and I want to keep working for them” — and it sounds like your boss wanted that too, but then learned that legally they can’t do that. It makes sense that now that they know they won’t be able to legally employ you in two months, they want to make plans for how to handle that.

Giving you a deadline of one week isn’t necessarily reasonable, particularly since it sounds like either way they’d move forward with plans to hire a replacement. You can try pointing that out and ask if can give them a firm answer once you’re back from your wedding. Otherwise, though, the easiest thing is to accept their offer; it won’t lock you in if you change your mind later.

But if you’re hoping for an outcome where you keep working for them from the other state, it doesn’t sound like that’s legally possible. That part is pretty black and white; if you’re moving there, they need to get you off their payroll. (If I’m wrong about your thinking and you actually want time to consider options like staying in your current state and having your fiance move to join you instead of vice versa, tell your boss that! She’s probably assuming your move is a done deal.)

2. Can I give one employee a gift but not the other?

I’m a manager of a small team at a large national company and oversee two employees: Jim is a mid-level specialist who I’ve worked closely with for four years, and Dwight is an entry-level assistant who I’ve worked with for two. Since Covid, Jim has really stepped up — fantastic work, yes, but on top of this, he has been a real team player as our team dealt with dozens of issues: unexpected departures, illness and leaves of absence, major changes internally at the company as well as substantial changes with vendors. Dwight has remained stagnant.

We recently had a huge, terrible, project due that Jim once again hit out of the park with thoughtfulness, hard work, and very long hours. Reviews, bonuses, and promotion come company-wide next spring, which I am strongly pushing for Jim, but I really feel as though a token gift given right now to show my appreciation for his hard work on this soul-killing project/his work ethic overall is appropriate.

During non-Covid times, I might have taken him out to drinks or dinner to celebrate a job well done, but with Delta that’s not currently an option. So: can I get Jim a physical gift or gift card? Do I have to get something for Dwight, who barely worked on this project, and has overall produced less over the year as a whole? Can a manger give gifts to certain employees and not others? For holidays and birthdays I get them similar items, but this feels different, as Jim really deserves some kind of special recognition.

You can give Jim a gift or gift card without doing the same for Dwight as long as it’s clear that it’s a special reward for above-and-beyond work. But any chance you can get him a few extra days off instead? That would make it feel less “here is a personal gift from me to you” and more “the company is rewarding your hard work.” If not, though, your plan is fine.

What you want to avoid is favoritism — where you just personally like Jim more and so he gets things that Dwight doesn’t. But that’s not what this is; this is recognition of someone’s excellent work.

3. Communicating more clearly as a manager

A couple things keep coming up at work with regard to inter-staff communication that I’m not sure how to deal with.

I am in charge of all communications at a small nonprofit. Sometimes someone will talk about, for example, making a flyer for an event. I will say, “Please let me see it when it’s done, before you send it out.” They will then say something like “Thank you for offering to look at it.” I am never sure how to respond; I want them to know it’s not a favor I’m doing and actually all communications that leave our office have to go through me first. Saying exactly that seems rude.

Also, since I know some people are offended by others, even upper management, telling them what to do, I often phrase things in the form of a request, like “Can you please do X?” (I’m a woman, if it matters– HAHAHAHA of course it matters.) Phrasing commands as an ask is no problem for me. The problem is when I’m genuinely asking a question, perhaps to determine someone’s capacity or ability, and I ask them “Can you [fill in the blank]?” and they think I’m telling them to do something. How can I be clear about what I’m asking?

For the first situation, try saying it this way initially: “Since it’s going to the public, I need to sign off on it before you send it out, so please run it by me once it’s ready.” That way you’re not correcting them after the fact, but giving them all the info they need up-front. Depending on the context, you might also include something about your own turnaround time so they’re not running it by you an hour before it’s due to the printer.

For the second situation, try being more clear about what you’re asking up-front: “I’m trying to figure out who would make the most sense to tackle X. I’m still thinking on it, but do you have experience doing X / would you have room for it this quarter?” You can also make a point of being really clear about next steps (or lack of next steps) once you get their answer: “Don’t do anything with it just yet, but it’s good to know you’d be able to take it on if I need you to” or “Okay, I might come back to you about this later this week, but for now there’s nothing you need to do with it” or so forth.

4. Fundraising at work when everyone is remote

In the pre-Covid days, an employee might have put a sign-up sheet for Girl Scout cookies, walk-a-thon pledges, FeedMore volunteers, etc. on their desk or tacked up the outside of their cubicle. Now that so many people are working remotely, many permanently, is there a non-invasive way to share that info with one’s coworkers?

I am trying to present a case to our management on how to provide a forum for remote employees to solicit for donations/volunteers for nonprofit activities in a way that is non-intrusive and doesn’t conflict with many corporate policies for soliciting during working hours put in place to avoid undue influence and work disruptions.

Do you have a corporate intranet or Slack or something similar? Creating a Slack channel or its equivalent might be the easiest way to do it. People would need to purposely seek it out so it won’t perfectly replicate the conditions you had in the office (where people might see a sign-up sheet in the kitchen or on someone’s door without specifically going looking for it), but it’s probably the closest you’ll get without pushing the info at people who don’t want it pushed at them. (Readers, has anyone come up with anything else that works?)

5. An example of a perfect storm of “it’s not your fault” rejection

I was just reading your advice about never relying on a good interview as evidence you’ve clinched a job, and I wanted to share how recent events at my office underline this so much!

We had only one candidate apply for a position, and they were reasonably qualified. My boss and I had really good (separate) interviews with them and it was looking promising.

1. In reviewing the interviews, we realized some additional/different skills we were really looking for that hadn’t been explicit in the posting or discussed in the interviews.
2. An internal applicant who is wildly more qualified put their hat in the ring.
3. Given #2, my grandboss straight up instructed that we should not hire the person we’d interviewed.

I’m sure the original candidate will think, “Oh no, it seemed so hopeful! What did I do wrong?” but the truth is they were just the victim of bad timing (and of us failing to craft a really focused job posting – lesson learned there).

{ 521 comments… read them below }

  1. Seed Ave*

    > In the pre-Covid days, an employee might have put a sign-up sheet for Girl Scout cookies, walk-a-thon pledges, FeedMore volunteers, etc. on their desk or tacked up the outside of their cubicle. Now that so many people are working remotely, many permanently, is there a non-invasive way to share that info with one’s coworkers?

    An opt-in Slack channel is probably the best way to go, I’d say to avoid putting it in all-company channels. But also keep in mind a lot of companies have “no solicitation” policies about their Slack, as well.
    Getting away from all those bids & the resulting “is this actually-optional?” political parsing has been a minor relief of going remote, I have to say.

    1. Viki*

      We have a Teams that HR runs for this. The link is added to the monthly company run newsletter. As far as I know, you submit the cause to HR who runs it through the approved charities list/categories (kid school fundraiser etc.) and then posts it.

      I am unsure how it would work for something that is locally based for a large company (ie girl scouts cookies) that needs a physical delivery but it seems to work.

      I personally hate these things so this is all just from the email they sent out to staff explaining the policy.

      1. Shad*

        There’s a minimum order for it, and a delivery fee, but the online order portal for girl scout cookies does have a mail delivery option. I’d guess many such fundraisers have set up similar systems, particularly in the last two years.

        1. Caboose*

          The Girl Scouts have both a mail delivery option and an in-person drop off option– I ordered a few boxes from girls around the country that were mailed to me, and then one order from a friend’s child, which they dropped off at my front door for me!

      2. Action Kate*

        yeah, the “off-topic” Teams chat and the company newsletter have both worked for us. Our internal newsletter is weekly, and has a section called “Staff Updates” where people can submit personal stuff like Girl Scout cookie sales, marathon sponsorships, “hey my band is playing,” etc. Everyone gets the newsletter and nobody is obligated.

        (and you can always donate a few bucks to your local Girl Scout through the online portal — no delivery fees!)

        1. Anon for this*

          There is one person at our workplace who has a kid old enough to be in Girl Scouts, who is in Girl Scouts. He’s rather high up on the corporate ladder, and the first time he brought her cookie sheet in he was awkward and saying “I don’t want people to feel pressured to buy them because I’m the Big Boss….” and within five minutes the office rumor mill had a line stretching out his door and down the hall with people who wanted their cookie fix and didn’t care that he was the Big Boss. Now “Big Boss sells Girl Scout cookies around x time of the year” is common knowledge and doesn’t need to be advertised.

          1. Falling Diphthong*

            I’ve always felt like Girl Scout Cookies is the one exception to the no solicitations rule, because obviously people want their Girl Scout Cookies. Nothing my kids ever had to sell for a school or team fundraiser came close, and I was ecstatic when we switched to the “Pay $x up front and skip all the fundraisers” model.

            (A local troop set up in the parking lot of a defunct business last February and I was so thrilled! Fully masked, drive in, all outdoors.)

            1. quill*

              Yeah. It doesn’t hurt that so many other “fundraisers” for school activities end up with such minimal returns for the actual kids compared to what you pay. We did the research once when my brother’s sport team was selling… IDK, pasta? It turned out that the sport team got less than 10 percent. You’d be better off asking everyone you know to contribute a single dollar towards the football team than shaking them down to make them buy an $9.99 box of mediocre pasta.

              1. Dream Jobbed*

                Don’t the Girl Scouts (actual troop, not HQ) get like $.25 a box? They used to. So I no longer buy them, but I will make a $5 check out to the individual troop.

                1. Chels*

                  The dollar amount per box is low but the girls earn badges during cookie season for various activities and can get credit towards camps and other activities that are paid by what goes to the council, not the troop. My niece’s troop was able to send three girls to camp at no cost to the families based on cookie sales (in 2019 when they were selling in-person). That said, cash given to the troop stays in the troop. They make a surprising amount in tips at cookie booths.

                2. quill*

                  I don’t remember how much money the troop gets instead of the organization as a whole, but it certainly came out better when I did the math than the outside-of-organization fundraisers.

                3. cat servant*

                  unlike the other fundraisers, the girl scout cookies are actually quite delicious and folks buy them just to have the cookies, not to raise any money…

                4. Hapless Bureaucrat*

                  It’s… surprisingly complex, I say as a recent troop cookie manager. It also varies somewhat Council by council. But in short:
                  – product and program costs are about 25% of box price
                  – all dollars above cost stay within the Council, rather than going to the National organization.
                  – the amount that stays with an individual troop varies by Council. Our Council sells for $5, not $4. The entire 5th dollar, plus some more, stays with the troop, so about 22%.

                  Council proceeds are used for things like camps, grants, scholarships, and Council programs. I’m guessing there’s some overhead in there, but nothing that gives me terrible concern (and I audit nonprofits).

                5. starsaphire*

                  I love the darn things, and I know I shouldn’t eat them. So I upcharge myself.

                  One box of thin mints? That’s $10, handed straight to the girl. Keep the change. Then I have to split the box with hubby.

                  I always donate to the troop and I always buy the thingamajig. It’s my penance for spending 4 straight years of high school selling candy for band.

              2. Hush42*

                This! My sisters basketball team does fundraisers by selling coupon books. They cost $20 and they only get 50% of the money. While that’s pretty good, I would much rather just give my sisters the $10 they’re going to get out of it and save myself the other $10.

                1. quill*

                  50% is like the holy grail of fundraiser profits, speaking as someone who had to sell those dang coupon books.

            2. Red Reader the Adulting Fairy*

              My “No Soliciting” sign on my front door straight up says “unless you’re a Scout with popcorn or cookies.”

            3. Ellen N.*

              Girl Scout cookies are not universally liked. I think they taste nasty; I dislike all mass produced baked goods and they are no exception. Also, they contain palm oil which is bad for the environment.

              I have repeatedly been aggressively solicited to buy Girl Scout cookies by coworkers. These coworkers don’t believe me when I say that I dislike Girl Scout cookies. It seems like it’s not voluntary when it’s someone higher than me in the organization or someone who is favored by someone who is higher than me.

              Additionally, there are people who have medical conditions and/or beliefs that prevent them from eating Girl Scouts cookies, or in some cases, any cookies. The aggression with which people promote Girl Scout cookies makes it difficult to decline without discussing personal matters.

              1. RagingADHD*

                Let me give you a script: “No thank you.”

                Really, that’s all you need to say. You don’t need an excuse or an explanation. You certainly don’t need to get in an argument about whether they taste good or meet your ethical code.

                If the offeror is someone you can’t just give a warm smile and walk away from, then change the subject and ask them a work-related question.

                I assure you, all the folks who keep Halal or Kosher or have other long-established belief systems about food have cumulative centuries of experience politely saying “No thank you” to popular foods that they’re offered in work or social situations, and it’s fine.

          2. DataGirl*

            We had the opposite problem at my old workplace, only about 70 employees and like 10 of us had Girl Scouts at the same time. It was really awkward because either only one person put out a sheet and everyone else was resentful, or everyone put out sheets then the buyers had to decide who to purchase from which caused resentment, so we banned sales altogether.

            1. Acronyms Are Life (AAL)*

              Yeah, I always tried to buy one box from each person. But we only had like 7 people with girl scouts in a 200+ office.

              The parents of the girl scouts in my office banded together and put a sign in the break room that said ‘the following staff members are selling cookies’ and I forget the exact wording but it said something to the effect that buying from just one person was fine with them.

            2. MyAlterEgoIsTaller*

              My workplace says that Girl Scout cookies, Boy Scout popcorn, sports team wrapping paper, etc. can only be sold (and delivered) by the child themselves. Parent employees are not allowed to tack up sign-up sheets or take orders – the kid must do the legwork in person, and do all the talking while taking orders – if the parent speaks for the child then that employee’s children are permanently ineligible to sell or collect for any cause on our premises.

              This cuts down substantially on the competition, and is also the way that the Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, etc. claim this is supposed to work to teach their members “leadership skills” and such.

              1. Wut?*

                I’m in Canada so our Girl Guides group may be different, but I bought a case (12 boxes) of their cookies one year in response to the father’s Facebook post and he delivered them. I had zero interaction with the girl selling them. Interestingly, the father turned out to be one of those people who is constantly posting on social media asking people to do things for him or buy things from him and he typically starts off his post with a comment like: “I’m usually the one giving and I have supported so many of you. Now it’s time for you to support me.” Spoiler alert: I’ve known him for a while and have never seen or heard of him supporting or giving to anyone else.

                1. Former GS Employee*

                  The Girl Scouts’ sales materials always say that one of the purposes of the cookie sales (besides making money for the organization) is to teach girls business skills, like applied math, confidence in interacting with the public, etc. The troop leaders are supposed to coach the girls on these skill, run practice interactions, etc., and the parents are supposed to make themselves scarce or blend into the background as much as possible, to the extent that safety allows.
                  I realize this is all “supposed to”, and that a lot of parents do all the work on these sales, with virtually no involvement of the girls, but that’s not really the goal of the exercise.

                2. Anon for this*

                  Yeah, the Girl Scouts organization says one thing, but to buyers, the cookies have much more in common with drugs in that people WANT them, and once a reliable source is identified, they will go to the supplier.

                  One person had a creative marketing idea. They posted in WoW general chat, in heavily populated zones, saying “got money?” then posted a link to their kid’s sales page and “buy that!” The page also had an indicator of how much they’d sold and it was absolutely crazy how much money they were making off hawking their wares to hungry raiders.

                3. Dawbs*

                  The line between what goes to troop vs. Council is highly debated…
                  But honestly I know my kid’s troop has kids who get scholarships (from council) to pay for camp or out camp out or even membership.

                  So while my”troop”didn’t look like it gets that money in the pie chart, yeah it does.

                1. MyAlterEgoIsTaller*

                  We end up with relatively few kids annoying us (and really they’re less annoying and guilt-trippy than their parents!) It cuts out all the helicopter parents who think they have to do everything for their kids, and the ones with lazy kids, and just leaves the few who can back off and let their enterprising kids make the rounds. I prefer this system a lot to previous places where I was inundated with daily sales pitches and donation requests of one sort or another from coworkers.

              2. Dawbs*

                Yeah the “girls do the work”thing is forever a challenge.

                I make my kid do the work… except.
                I really hate the “all kid’s must do all the talking” stuff.
                It’s not that I don’t make my kid do the talking (usually), it’s that she’s autistic and occasional gets…”stuck”.

                Then my options are to let her twist on the wind (which has farther reaching consequences than it looks like to the casual observer), step in and look helicopter-y, or out her autism– which we make clear to her is nobody’s business and her info to share or not.

                I like the”rules”about it, butthey leave special needs kid hanging- mostly because do many disabilities aren’t visible

                1. BlueKazoo*

                  This! My first thought was this solution seems pretty rigid. Rome wasn’t built in a day. It’s going to take some kids longer than others to get the hang of something like this. Because of a disability or just because. Also, some adults are awkward with kids and that can cause confusion. So long as the child is actually involved then I think the Girl Scouts mission here is being accomplished (can’t speak for other organizations but I was a scout).

                2. Brrr*

                  As somebody with a disability that’s not visible, I can relate to this – but as your daughter gets older she (and maybe you) will need to get more comfortable with people knowing about the disability if and when she needs accommodation. Helping her in the situation described is an accommodation for a disability, and it’s always going to look weird if others don’t know that. As you said, if people don’t know about it then you’re going to look helicopter-y – and the older your daughter gets, the more you will look that way – and the more she will be viewed as helpless, immature, and over-parented unless she gets comfortable with people knowing about her autism.
                  In the situation described, in which kids are required to speak for themselves, her choices if she can’t speak for herself are: let others know about the reason, or don’t participate. I can tell you from experience that having you break rules for her without letting others know why isn’t going to work out well for her in the long run.

                3. MapleHill*

                  I’m prefacing this by saying I have zero experience with Girl Scouts or personal experience with autism, so maybe this is offbase, but wholly with positive intent.

                  It actually sounds awesome that Girl Scouts requires the kids to do all the talking. It doesn’t seem that it’s coming from a stance of being cheating or not fair. But instead, it empowers young women by giving them a chance to grow and stretch what they thought (and maybe even their parents thought) they were capable of. It can instill confidence in them to know that they can handle something on their own even if it’s not perfect, they did it by themselves and can learn each time how to do it better. And even if it doesn’t work out, learning to fail is also a vaulable lesson.

                  One of my neighbors was selling stuff for cub scouts and he had a written speech that he read at the door. His mom probably wrote it or at least helped him, and she came with him, but he read it. It was pretty sweet and he had such nice manners, we couldn’t resist buying from him.

            3. Minneapolis Non-profits*

              I’m actually a Girl Scout Troop Cookie Manager. For my workplace, which is actually a church, we had all the Girl Scouts in the congregation get together on one day. People bought from the group and then at the end we divided the sales evenly for the girls who showed up. This eliminated “competition.”
              All the scouts in my troop made their own video pitches, online sales links, and wrote thank you emails. This year with digital sales it was a great learning opportunity.
              I think less than 10% of our troops sales came from parent’s workplace sales. Most came from in person outdoor booths and online sales. I think in the past workplace sales have been the cornerstone. My personal daughters got over 50% of their sales going door-to-door in our neighborhood.

            4. LizM*

              I work in an office that doesn’t allow any fundraising now, but when I worked in an office that did, the parents who were selling cookies would put out one order form, and then divide the orders among the scouts. It was a little more work on their end, but it helped manage the “fairness.”

          3. Beth*

            Yep — my current GS cookie source is one of my bosses. If he doesn’t let me know when his daughter is doing cookie orders, I walk in to his office and ask him — definitely not a case of feeling pressured!

        1. Mariana*

          Thanks! We do have Yammer and Teams. Not a perfect solution, as noted by Alison and a few of you, but may be the best we’ve got.
          I’ve asked about adding a “by-line” to my signature in emails, preceded with something like “Personal message:” to make it clear it’s not a company thing. Same for adding something similar to a Delve profile.

          1. Anonymous Koala*

            I would gently discourage you from adding a byline to your email signature about personal fundraisers. If you’re sending emails to geographically distant stakeholders or external clients, those are people you probably don’t expect or want donations from. And if you send a lot of emails to the same people, they might feel like you’re requesting them to donate or reminding them of the fundraiser every time you send them an email. Plus if there are people who would like to donate whom you do not email regularly, they might not be aware of the fundraiser at all. I would stick to an off-topic Slack or Teams and stay away from channels like email where the default assumption is that every communication is work related, not personal.

    2. Bagpuss*

      If the organisation is large, then maybe have a monthly update – anyone wanting to let people know about their fundraiser tells HR or whoever is coordinating it, and they send round a single e-mail with details and links .

      If you have an intranet perhaps there could be a specific page to include any details of this kind, so people can check it if/when they want to .

      In either case, it would be possible to have a general notice at the top to make clear that it is purely voluntary.

    3. Green great dragon*

      If there’s any sort of regular comms, you could have a section listing out fundraising efforts with links, so it does bring it to people’s attention in a low key way. Or a section of your company intranet, if that’s reasonably well used? I click on links if it’s someone I know, and ignore otherwise.

    4. Quinalla*

      We have an opt-in to get notifications yammer channel for this and also for people to post things they are looking to sell, but yeah very similar set up. And I agree that having it this way is actually better for all the people being solicited as there is much more “Oh, I didn’t see it!” cover if you are feeling in any way pressured to buy because it is a higher up or whatever.

    5. twocents*

      Agreed! I’m so glad my work has a blanket policy on no solicitations, period. We do also have an internal site managed by, idk some Corporate Giving group, where you can donate money to a verified non-profit or find local volunteer opportunities. But nothing like “buy my kid’s popcorn!” thank goodness.

    6. Person from the Resume*

      Also just because work used to be place you solicited these things does not mean it should continue to be especially as our work places are no longer what they used to be.

    7. Hurricane Wakeen*

      I would agree that one of the perks of working remote is that I don’t get nearly the same number of requests for random donations, fundraisers, and MLMs. I see it as a trade-off — I don’t get perks when coworkers bring in food or garden hauls, but I also don’t have to shell out for things I hadn’t necessarily budgeted for.

      I agree with the comments that any kind of remote system has to be strictly opt-in.

    8. Ruth*

      We have a “classifieds” channel on our Teams. It works quite well! No one has to ever look at it if they don’t want to.

    9. Nanani*

      TBH the best answer is probably “don’t”.
      IF you happen to be friends with your colleages to the point that you’d naturally tell them about your kid’s troupe fundraiser or the like, tell them in a personal channel.

  2. Lunchtime caller*

    I am so fascinated by the mindset of LW 1 and others like her that we see here that seem to essentially be saying “but I don’t want to leave my job, I want to keep doing it under whatever circumstances I please” and are fairly bewildered their job might have an opinion on the matter! Did this little issue of permanently leaving the state (and so soon!) not raise the slightest worry about the future of your job before this convo?

    1. EPLawyer*

      Yeah. The company has made it clear that working remote in the other state is not an option. What were they supposed to do? Wait until she gives her 2 week notice to post the job and have ZERO transition time?

      I get it, with all the wedding planning, how to continue working wasn’t a top priority. But now that the company knows decisions have to be made. The company is going to act in their best interest. YOUR wedding is not THEIR top priority.

      1. AVP*

        I mean, she kind of did give her notice! The notice was when she told them her intention to move to a place they don’t support, everything else is just logistics.

        1. Cambridge Comma*

          Yes, her problem is that she accidentally gave notice and is surprised that her company has reacted to it. It’s very unlucky for her, because she gave up control over the timing.

          1. AcademiaNut*

            That’s a very good way to phrase it. The OP thought that she was asking for something that just needed to be rubber stamped and would be totally fine (after all, she was already working remotely), but turned out to be giving fairly long notice that she would be leaving the job. Once the employer knows this, they can’t unknow it, and need to plan for it.

            From the OP’s perspective, I’d look at it as a transition option. She should be looking for a new job, either fully remote or in the new location, but has a buffer of pay but no benefits if she doesn’t find something quickly.

            1. Fran Fine*

              True, but I get why the OP’s panicking. Who wants to be without insurance during a pandemic?

              1. LCH*

                Can OP not get on her new husband’s insurance? I assume he has it since she is moving to his state instead of the other way around. His job must be good.

                1. Artemesia*

                  I am pretty sure leaving your job lets you move to an ACA type of insurance if he doesn’t have it.

                2. Beth Jacobs*

                  Danger: If the OP chose to move away from her job to a state where neither of them has a job, then yikes – that’s some very poor planning!

                3. library-adjacent*

                  I mean, that assumes that the OP’s fiancée (I don’t think the gender of the poster or the fiancée were specified here) HAS health insurance (or a job), or that it would be affordable for them to add someone to their policy if they lost an income, or that they weren’t planning on both being covered under the OP’s policy once they were married.

                  I think the issue is that a lot of people assume that there’s no impact on their workplace if they choose to work remotely while living in another state– I probably wouldn’t have known this if I hadn’t worked at places with remote work options prior to the pandemic. It’s actually a ton of administrative work!

                  It sounds like this is a lot for the OP to absorb– it’s possible that if they had understood this policy before they announced plans to move they would have chosen to stay in their state longer (and embark on a more discreet job search so they would have something lined up before they actually planned to move), or made different plans for living arrangements with their fiancée that would allow them remain in an area where they could keep their job.

                  If it was me, I would probably try to go back to management saying that I wasn’t aware that moving would impact my employment when I was making plans, and would like to delay my moving timeline and remain employed while my partner and I reevaluate our living arrangements (if that’s an option)– the expectation that their workplace would extend a grace period to accommodate wedding planning is a bit odd, but coming to the realization that you’ve given notice without intending to is bound to be a shock!

                4. RabbitRabbit*

                  Beth: I think the query was around whether the husband had *insurance* as part of their job. It could be a freelancer type of position.

              2. Lurker*

                Federal law requires she be offered COBRA. So between that, ACA option, or her spouse she should be able to have insurance coverage. (Cost is another matter…)

                1. COBRA strike*

                  COBRA isn’t always a real option. When I lost my job last year, insurance that i was paying $450 a month for cost ~$4000 a month through COBRA, so while it was available I certainly couldn’t afford it after losing my job

              3. BlueKazoo*

                I get why too. I think she was a bit naive though to assume that she can just work from home in another state. That’s not a safe assumption for lots of reasons. The only time it would really make sense to assume is here where I live in NYC where yeah people do live in the tristate area. Or I guess if the company has locations there but even then she might need to apply for a transfer versus keep her current role.

              4. Dust Bunny*

                . . . but that is another thing that should have been considered before she assumed she could move out of state and keep her job. I really need my insurance so I would have checked with my employer to see if any of this was even possible before I made serious plans to move.

          2. Escapee from Corporate Management*

            OP1, there’s a lesson that you are learning the hard way: don’t assume anything about your employment. Just because you did not think about the business implications of moving to another state does not make it a non-issue.

            My other piece of advice: reframe your thinking ASAP. Your boss and HR are not the “bad guys” trying to “push you out”. That’s personalizing what is, unfortunately for you, a straightforward business decision. It’s clear that your boss likes you and the company is trying to maximize your transition time and compensation. They don’t need to do that. They could simply end your employment full stop, since you told them you will no longer be employable by them. The more you frame them as being bad and you as a victim, the more likely you will make this an argument in which you will invariably lose. Best to take the package and start looking for a job which can hire you in the state where you will reside.

            1. SheLooksFamiliar*

              Exactly this. The OP is making this a ‘me vs. them’ situation, and it really isn’t. Her employer isn’t doing this *to* her, they’re making straightforward and reasonable business decisions. I’ll argue that if OP’s employer didn’t appreciate her, they wouldn’t have offered *any* option once she told them her plans. But they at least tried to accommodate her.

              OP, please rethink your approach to this. I know it stings to expect something and not get it, even when you find out there are valid reasons for it that you never considered. But now you know why they can’t keep you on as before, and it’s not a personal or targeted reaction to your decision to move. Congratulations on your wedding, and good luck with your move.

            2. HarvestKaleSlaw*

              I think people who never interact with the payroll/HR/benefits side of things just don’t understand what’s involved. Often, a company might be glad to let you work remote from another state – but they are not set up with worker’s comp, or SUTA, or state income tax, or benefits, or compliance… Those things are not just an inconvenience. They carry real and ongoing costs.

              1. JustaTech*

                Having people working in other states can even limit things like what accounting software you can use (I’m currently helping my in-laws with this), so it can be a huge amount of work in all kinds of unexpected ways.

              2. Canadian Yankee*

                Yes to the on-going expense point – it’s the same here in Canada. I had an employee who negotiated a remote work agreement in another province, but we already had two field sales employees stationed there, so it was pretty easy to just bump up the “local office” to three people.

                A little later on, the company reorganized and consolidated their sales territories and this left my report as the only employee in the province. I ended up hearing near-monthly complaints from Finance/HR about how much this one employee was costing us and had to spend a fair amount of professional capital justifying their continued employment.

            3. Cait*

              This! I was hoping someone would say this. I also thought it was pretty presumptuous that you can just pick up and move to a different state, give your company very little notice, and assume they’d be fine with it. What??? I also think her boss and HR are being very generous by trying to work with her to make sure she’s not left jobless immediately and giving her the time to plan that she failed to give herself. This letter does not read as “My company is trying to unfairly get rid of me!”. It reads as “I made a foolish assumption and now I’m facing unemployment because of my own mistakes.”

              1. Deanna Troi*

                I agree! If I’m the employer, and the OP says that she is moving to a state where she’s been told we can’t have employees, then obviously she’s telling me that she’s resigning. I’m not sure how it could be interpreted any other way.

                I also think that the employer is being very generous and is doing the opposite of pushing the OP out. They a found a way to keep her employed for an extra 6 months, and she has the extra time to look for another job. I would not be happy if I went out of my way for my employee like this and they acted like I was pushing them out. They are free to leave as soon as they move if they prefer.

                This reminds me very much of the OP who told an employer who had given them an offer “Your insurance won’t work for me.” She was then surprised that they gave the job to someone else and accused them of pulling the offer. They didn’t pull the offer – any reasonable person would interpret “this doesn’t work for me” as “I’m turning this down.”

                1. Kella*

                  To be fair, OP wasn’t told that they can’t have other employees in that state until after she told them of her plans to move to that state. If she didn’t already have that information, then I don’t think it’s fair to say “Well, of course she knew she was resigning.”

                2. Deanna Troi*

                  Keila, I agree. That’s why I said “where she’s been told we can’t have employees.” If once they told her that they can’t have employees there, she had said “Oh, I will rethink moving then and these plans are not definite,” then I would think she was being pushed out. But it sounds as though once they told her, she still indicated she was moving. Which is fine! I would move as well in this situation. But, I wouldn’t think they were pushing me out.

                3. MCMonkeyBean*

                  I feel like this is the second letter like this recently. I am a big fan of work from home and may be switching to this as a permanent situation, but people really need to remember that “work from home” does not mean you can work from anywhere you want! I am kind of baffled that OP planned a wedding and a move and never thought to ask whether that would be an issue at work. To be fair, the boss also probably should have brought it up sooner as well but I think it was more on OP.

                  But at the end of the day, they are the one moving away and in my book that means they are the ones effectively ending the work relationship.

            4. Sparkles McFadden*

              Yes, sorry LW1, you are not being pushed out. You actually resigned and gave a specific time frame and the company is now using that time frame for the hiring and on-boarding process. I cannot think of a company that wouldn’t do exactly what your company is doing.

              1. AVP*

                I had a friend who did this – he disagreed with his manager on a major issue and said, “Well, if we’re not going to make this a priority, I guess it doesn’t make sense for me to work here.” He was shocked the next day when they posted his job and asked him about his timetable for leaving – but, well…you kinda resigned!

                1. tamarack and fireweed*

                  Yabbut… I can’t be the only one who thinks that it’s not particularly fair to employees to be so casual about it. Granted, I grew up in a culture (and more importantly, jurisdiction) where you *can’t* resign by having an informal hallway conversation: it *has* to be in writing, and sometimes you need to use specific words, and sometimes (if you’re on a contract with an end date) you aren’t allowed to resign.

                  But even if there is no prescribed form to it, once a manager notices that they and the employee are potentially not on the same page, I think it’s the manager’s job to sit the employee down with the goal to get back on that same page and, if there is an actual intent to separation, formalize it.

                  In the OP’s case this has largely happened, even though I didn’t read about any exploration about how firm the moving plans (and the schedule on which they would happen) were. The OP clearly was still in the mindset of “we’re exploring options for how to keep me” while the employer had decided that the moment of separation had already come and was putting the wheels in motion for a transition. This may have been inevitable, and maybe the OP was/is distracted by the wedding planning from giving this the attention it deserved when it happened, but still I understand that not even getting a clear sit-down meeting with the manager in which the manager says “this means we have *no* option to keep you beyond a short-term staffing agency job” would leave a weird taste in the OP’s mouth.

                  And for the examples in the comments it sounds like an asshole move to me to treat a conversation about whether the basis for a long-term relationship is still there as equivalent to a formal resignation. Not that there aren’t potential justifications – eg if the employee acted like an asshole first, and an elegant pretext getting rid of them is what everyone hopes for – but it’s still an asshole move.

          3. twocents*

            I actually think she’s kind of fortunate that they did react to it, because they set her up on a plan that gives her a job for eight more months, and it doesn’t sound like she had put any thought into the fact that she was going to be unemployed when she moved in two. I mean bad timing with the wedding but she should be actively job searching right now, if the company hadn’t given her this special option.

            1. Julia*

              This exactly. It’s a little odd that she hadn’t thought about this until it came up fortuitously in conversation a couple months before the move – what was her plan? I’m not one of the world’s great planners, so I get it, but if you *do* have a tendency to leave things to the last minute, you kind of forfeit your right to be bothered when things don’t work out exactly as you expect.

              1. Falling Diphthong*

                I suspect it was thinking that it didn’t matter where she was signing in from, and being sideswiped that it really, really did.

                It really does, LW.

                1. Observer*

                  Yes. The OP clearly didn’t think it through.

                  But, OP, now that you know that it IS a bi deal, you need to deal with reality not hold on to what you thought.

                  We all make mistakes. The question is what we do when we find out that we made a mistake.

              2. Elenna*

                I suspect her plan was “keep working remotely, and obviously it won’t matter that I’m in Other State because it’s remote”. So she didn’t tell anyone earlier because she didn’t realize it was something that needed to be told. Which, to be fair, is definitely something I could see myself assuming before reading AAM and finding out about tax issues! OP, it’s not that they want to push you out, unfortunately they really can’t keep you (at least not without spending a whole lot of extra effort/money which isn’t worth it for one person no matter how good they are).

                1. I edit everything*

                  Yeah, one of my former bosses moved from working in the office in NYC to working remotely from Maine, and I’m pretty sure the organization didn’t already have any business functions in Maine. I’m only just now realizing that they must have put in a lot of effort for him to be able to do that, especially since he was talking then about retiring in 3 years. He was pretty senior and the only person in the org (and one of the few in the country) who could do his job, so I’m sure they considered it worthwhile.

                  Last I heard, he hasn’t retired yet.

                2. katertot*

                  @I edit everything I can’t reply back to you but it also depends on if it’s their primary residence I think? If he maintained another residence in NYC he may be okay and it might not have been as big of an effort- someone correct me if I’m wrong- but if he didn’t fully move to Maine and just kept a separate/second place there then they might not have had to do a full separate nexus there, and could’ve kept his mailing/residential address as his primary house in NYC. Just throwing out another option :)

                3. Analytical Tree Hugger*


                  Even a second residence in another state can be complicated, depending on the state (this is based on my experience as a remote employee). California required me to pay taxes for anytime I spent working there, even if it was just a few days. I think there ar

          4. Nicotena*

            I agree that OP should have anticipated this and was probably mis-lead by her relationship with her manager, and the casual way the question came up. Unfortunately, OP should have kept her plans vague if she wasn’t ready to be pushed out, and only raised this officially at the time she was ready to give two weeks. Before then, asking questions about the options for remote work *without* committing to anything was the way to go. “Oh, my fiance and I aren’t sure about our plans yet” etc.

            1. Kella*

              It sounds like OP wasn’t intending to give her two weeks or planning to leave at all. She thought she could keep working, uninterrupted, just from another state.

        2. RabbitRabbit*

          The 6-month contract was pretty generous, I thought. And of course they’re treating it like it’s a done deal; what else would happen? I suppose it’s possible but unlikely that the fiance may decide to move to the area but that would take a lot more planning and time.

          I don’t blame them with moving on this. I’ve heard of cases with people just pretending to live locally when they are actually working remote in another state. In fact, I have know someone who moved to Florida from Boston during the pandemic, ended up in a relationship there, while working “from home” the whole time. Had a PO Box or mail forwarding service or something like that, for his mail, never told his job. Then when things were looking better earlier in the year, his company started making noises about returning to the office, and he asked to work from home. His company counter-offered two days a week in the office. He had to go find another job.

          1. Pay No Attention To The Man Behind The Curtain*

            So real question on that one…since the company didn’t pay any of the payroll taxes to Florida, who’s going to get slammed by that bill and/or fine?

            1. RabbitRabbit*

              Yeah, I’m not sure how that’s going to play out for him next year. (A divorce happened, I’m closer with his spouse, so that’s all kind of second-hand information to me now.)

            2. CDM*

              No state income tax in Florida. My husband travels to Florida for business regularly, and we don’t have the tax withholding/filing headaches there that we’ve had when he traveled to MA or GA for meetings.

              1. AnonInCanada*

                Yes, but did the company formally set up nexus in Florida? The company may be on the hook for a bunch of state sales taxes (yes, Florida has them) they didn’t collect from customers living in Florida. That can add to some huge problems if (when!) the Florida Dept. of Revenue find out about who the employee was working for.

          2. tamarack and fireweed*

            Uh, if someone realizes that an employment relationship is conditional on living in a particular place, I think this totally reasonable to expect that the employee will re-think any existing moving plans.

    2. Tiger Snake*

      It sounds like LW1 got into the mindset that the only possible reason working in a different state was a problem for any job was because of office placements, and that now WFH was normal that was fixed.

      Which I guess I can understand, if you’re an employee who’s low on the totem pole (never had to worry about the costings or management side of things), young/inexperienced, or potentially if you’re only prior experience is working in a big multi-national company.

      As it happens though, it seems that the company did everything right here? The manager got confirmation about future plans as soon as they saw a potential for the circumstances to change, discussed with HR, and came to the OP with the frank honest truth and the options they had.
      The only criticism might be the speed, but we also don’t know how long the LW made announcements of her wedding date, or if their manager was waiting for the LW to raise the discussion, so I don’t have enough info to judge.

      1. allathian*

        Yeah, I agree. I’ve been reading this blog for long enough to have an idea how the American system works, and it’s similar in the EU. I couldn’t just decide off the bat to go and work in, say, Spain for 3 months, because my employer has no nexus there. And no intention to set one up, either, given that I’m working for the government.

        I get it that transitioning to a contract employee with the same salary and no benefits will feel like a huge salary cut, and it is. But in the LW’s situation, I’d investigate the options of going on her newlywed husband’s insurance temporarily. As soon as you move, start looking for another job in your new state. You don’t have to commit to staying with the staffing agency with no benefits for the full 6 months, at least not unless you sign a contract to that effect.

        1. Andy*

          We have had multiple people working from home from other European countries pre-covid. So I am pretty sure there are ways to achieve that within EU. I am not saying that company has to do it, just that it is not unreachably impossible.

          1. J*

            Yes, but whether or not it’s *possible* doesn’t necessarily have any bearing on whether or not the employer will *want* to do it. Which is what I believe Allathian is commenting on as well.

          2. someone*

            The company needs to setup a nexus in the new place. It’s generally not easy and not cheap. If the company isn’t big enough to be in multiple countries (in the EU) or states (US), doing so just for one employee doesn’t make sense.

            1. Andy*

              We are not huge company (small to mid sized) and we are pretty cheap – the company is unwilling to pay things even if it would saved money.

              Anyway, Spain for 3 months does not require Nexus, because it is shorter then 183 days in a year.

          3. LQ*

            But it’s the same with working in other states. Of course it’s not impossible, there are companies with people working everywhere. But the company has decided that it’s a lot of work to follow the laws in each of those other states. And this is what this is about. This is about a company who is trying to actually follow the law. All the people who work for tiny little startups that are like you can work anywhere in the world you want! Are not following the laws. (Most likely, I’m sure there’s like 1 that is…) You have to report in to each state for insurance purposes, you have to now follow a series of different requirements, you have to have employment law expertise in all the states. It’s painful if you don’t already have a large set up dedicated to it.

            So yes, it’s possible. But honestly, this company has decided it’s not worth it. And that’s a responsible thing to do.

            1. MyAlterEgoIsTaller*

              Sometimes it is impossible for a company to allow someone to work form another state. It depends what the company does, and how it’s set up. An example: in our state an engineering firm can be owned by people who are not licensed as engineers. In one of our adjacent states this is illegal. If an engineering firm owned by non-engineers wants to have employees working in that adjacent state, the firm would need to be owned and incorporated completely differently than it currently is – so basically it’s impossible unless the company completely reinvents itself as another company with different owners (or the owners of the existing company acquire degrees, minimum years of experience, and pass the licensing exams to become engineers!)

            2. SheLooksFamiliar*

              ‘Of course it’s not impossible, there are companies with people working everywhere. But the company has decided that it’s a lot of work to follow the laws in each of those other states. And this is what this is about. This is about a company who is trying to actually follow the law.’

              This is a great point, and it’s why smaller/regional employers often work with third parties like PEOs, or firms like Randstad or Kelly – what the OP called the company’s ‘staffing agency’. These firms are legally able to payroll in multiple states. That’s why OPs employer suggested working with her through an agency, and it does resolve part of her problem.

              It’s worth pointing out that many third parties do offer group benefits. Maybe they’re not the greatest packages, but they offer some protection. It wasn’t clear to me if OP was specifically told this agency didn’t offer benefits, or if she assumed they wouldn’t. It would be good to confirm this before making a decision.

              1. Clisby*

                Yes, when I first started working remotely (about 1997) I worked through a contracting agency like that. They handled payroll taxes and issued the W2. If I had been a full-time salaried person, I would have gotten benefits. Since I was part-time, I got no paid time off. I was allowed to contribute to a 401k but got no match; and could have gotten health insurance by paying the full premium. My husband had good insurance, so I just went on his. It is possible for contractors to get some level of benefits.

                1. Clisby*

                  Adding … I was not living in the same state as the contracting agency, but there was no problem with my payroll taxes, etc. so I can only assume they were set up correctly to hire someone physically in Atlanta. (Of course, probably a lot of places have nexus with Georgia because of Atlanta.)

          4. Observer*

            So I am pretty sure there are ways to achieve that within EU.

            Sure, it’s possible for most employers, just as it’s possible for most employers in the US. That does not mean that it’s “no big deal”. And it doesn’t mean that it’s in the least bit reasonable to expect that a company will actually DO it. Because it absolutely DOES place a burden aside from the infrastructure.

          5. KeinName*

            In Academia folks do this quite a lot. You will be responsible for a lot of additional admin work though. I had a remote job in another EU country (state uni) and first had to do all sorts with my home country insurance, be issued forms and whatnot, mediate between government employees at 5 different agencies in the two countries, and two years later I still have no idea if I have committed double tax fraud, haha. My employer just paid all the ‚employee costs’ (about twice of my salary ) to me and I was responsible for taxes and insurance, eventhough I was not a freelancer. The employer was quite flexible since academics are usually mobile.

        2. Qwetry*

          TIL! I thought this wasn’t a problem in the EU unless you worked in the new country 183 days in a year.

        3. Roeslein*

          Actually, yes you can do that in the EU. You basically just need to inform the local health insurance and sort out your taxes. Have done it before with no issue.

          1. Yods*

            I have been fuzzily considering emigrating and working long distance, with the assumption that this is something that could be arranged by my employer relatively easily. Considering the different answers I’m seeing here I should definitely look into this in more detail. My assumption right now is – within EU and there is a company branch in the target country – probably OK. Outside EU and nothing there – probably not going to work.??

            1. UKDancer*

              Yes. I think it also depends what job you’re doing. I mean if you work in a dress shop in Sweden, you can’t do the job while living in Romania for example because it’s not physically possible. On the other hand I knew someone who lived in Germany and worked just over the border in France because they can travel really easily to work. There are also a fair few people who live in France while working in Switzerland (around Lake Geneva for example) because France is a lot cheaper to live in. I’m not sure how legal or otherwise this is because obviously Switzerland isn’t EU.

              You really need to look into it with your company and also work out the tax and other implications first. Just because it’s legal in principle doesn’t mean your company will want you to do it.

              1. Alex*

                It’s legal, but the loopholes that made that arrangement very tempting have been closed a while ago – in most cases, this arrangement just means you pay taxes in Switzerland AND France, which eats in the CoL differences to make it almost not worthwhile anymore.

                1. UKDancer*

                  That makes sense thanks. I am not surprised someone decided to close the loopholes as it was too good a way to get the best of both worlds if you worked in Geneva but wanted to live somewhere cheaper. Geneva is lovely but very pricy. I used to go on business in the before times and our expense allowance barely covered McDonalds for dinner.

              2. I'd Rather Be Eating Dumplings*

                Also jobs with licensing requirements and/or professional insurance will often have additional requirements or best practices, so that’s worth looking into.

            2. Roeslein*

              I think within EU should be ok regardless of branch in the target member state or not. Portugal and Greece for instance have been actively trying to attract remote workers to work from there. I personally was employed in the Netherlands while living in Germany. Someone in my previous Germany-based company was semi-retired and working from the Canary Islands. The same laws that protects cross-border workers apply to remote workers as far as I know. You get a form from your country of employment stating that you pay from health insurance in that country and send it to your local health insurance provider and you’re all set. I’ve found the main challenge is with taxes, depending on how much time you spend in each country, but a good tax advisor (or possibly two – one in each country) will help with that. You will also need to check which e.g. child benefits you are entitled to. Obviously with third countries (e.g. working for a UK-based company while based in the EU) it is a lot more complicated – there are still ways without setting a full, formal subsidiary, but it will require some efforts on the company side to make it happen.

              1. Yods*

                I live in the Netherlands, close enough to the border that I could conceivably be living in Germany. The difference in house prices really is astonishing.

        4. Amaranth*

          Also, OP could ask about getting a raise to equal the amount the company would normally spend on benefits. That money is already budgeted, just in a different line item than ‘salary’.

          1. Forrest*

            But that may be the cut taking by the staffing agency, either as profit (if it’s a private, separate agency) or for admin and other costs / tax arrangements if it’s internal.

        5. Fran Fine*

          But in the LW’s situation, I’d investigate the options of going on her newlywed husband’s insurance temporarily.

          This is a good point because marriage is a qualified life event, so OP could do this if the husband has insurance through his employer and it’s decent.

          1. MCMonkeyBean*

            Yes, if he has insurance it seems like the best option here is:
            1) Accept the position with the staffing agency
            2) Go on husband’s insurance after wedding
            3) Begin job hunt in new state (or if you can find remote jobs that will hire from new state)
            4) Once hired somewhere else, quit the staffing job if it hasn’t run out and get on your new insurance

        6. tamarack and fireweed*

          Really? I used to lead a team in the EU with team members in Ireland, Spain, France, Germany and the UK (then still in the EU). We didn’t have existing offices in all these places. My understanding was that EU regulations allowed for a way to do exactly that when it’s hard to do outside an economic space that provides common rules.

      2. rudster*

        I can understand LW’s POV too… Heck, I know of one case someone whose work was mostly remote and moved from the US to *New Zealand* after her spouse got a killer dream job in a very specific niche industry there. And she arranged to continue her same work for her previous employer from there (though her employer is a large multinational so she is officially employed by the NZ office now). So from LW’s standpoint, what’s moving a few states away? Just some admin and logistics… Although if LW’s employer really wanted to keep her why not offer the contractor arrangement on an indefinite basis?

        1. Daisy*

          But they had a NZ office – I’m not surprised that posed no problems. They already know about the employment laws and benefits there. Even if they weren’t specifically in NZ, a multinational company understands the ramifications of those things in different territories and are used to dealing with it.

        2. Metadata minion*

          “Although if LW’s employer really wanted to keep her why not offer the contractor arrangement on an indefinite basis?”

          If they don’t otherwise have a lot of contract labor, this is going to be a great deal of administrative hassle (not to mention that the LW might well not want to deal with the hassle on their end). There’s “this employee is great and we would like to find some reasonable incentives to keep them” and then there’s “this employee is so amazing that we want to completely change the structure of the job”. Unless it requires incredibly hard-to-find skills, I can easily see an employer being sad that their awesome employee is leaving, but still being reasonably sure they can find another awesome employee to take the position without too much trouble.

        3. Observer*

          So from LW’s standpoint, what’s moving a few states away? Just some admin and logistics…

          That’s not a small thing. And, the reality is that it’s actually more than that.

          I understand that the OP didn’t realize it. But at this point, it’s time for them to wake up and recognize that DOES matter and it’s unreasonable to hold the company’s perfectly reasonable behavior against them.

        4. EventPlannerGal*

          It never ceases to amaze me how many otherwise quite intelligent people will handwave “it’s just logistics” as some unimportant thing. Logistics are everything! How many amazing incredible genius ideas never work out because the logistics don’t work? A shit-ton, that’s how many. If you ever have some amazing idea and find yourself thinking “well there’s just some logistics to work out, it’ll be fine”, stop and work them out before you do anything else! Or else you end up in situations exactly like this.

          1. mcfizzle*

            When those intelligent people don’t have to actually *deal* with the logistics, it’s easy to wave away. As someone constantly dealing with those blasted logistics, I’ve gotten pretty.. umm.. vocal about detailing the impact / challenges / resources / time needed to implement said logistics so they gain a better appreciation. Sometimes it works. Regardless, you are absolutely spot-on. I hope OP can see this as a very painful yet valuable lesson learned.

        5. NotJane*

          “Although if LW’s employer really wanted to keep her why not offer the contractor arrangement on an indefinite basis?”

          It’s not clear that this *isn’t* an option. It just sounds like OP isn’t interested in accepting the contractor position for any length of time.

      3. Quickbeam*

        The whole “unsupported state” thing is huge in my business. About 2 years ago my company put out an explanation of why they couldn’t continue employment for those who moved to states where we don’t do business, along with the costs involved. The finanical hit was enormous. It was an eye opener.

        They have been great to people who moved to states in our contracted areas though.

      4. searching for a new name*

        I think it depends what kind of work you do if you would think this could be a problem or not. For example, I work in tax and I know that you can’t just work from wherever you want with no problem but many other departments at my company have no idea that certain things can create tax liabilities, like working from a state we aren’t registered in for example. A lot of times having even one employee in a different state subjects you to income tax there. I don’t think it’s fair to say that only low level employees, young/inexperienced people or even people at big companies would not know this, I work at a large international company and lots of people I work with (who are smart!) don’t know this!

        1. Jackalope*

          Yeah, before I started reading this blog I had no idea about the tax implications of this, and I’m in my 40s. Every employer I’ve ever had has either been super local and not an option for remote (even in the very first days of lockdown my former employer was in the excepted category of still going in because it’s impossible not to) or national/international and set up in all of the states already. I had no idea the tax bit made a difference.

          1. Deanna Troi*

            Right, I doubt this would have played out like this if they hadn’t had a NZ office already.

      5. StressedButOkay*

        I was thinking that, too. That OP has seen the world transition to a WFH model due to COVID-19 and didn’t know the implications that being in a different state has to a company. I feel for OP but, unfortunately, it takes a lot of work for a company to get set up in another state (just the taxes alone) and the fact that they’re offering something to make the transition easier is good.

      6. Nicotena*

        In my opinion, what the manager did “wrong” was seeming to trick OP by asking casually about her future plans, while not clarifying that the answer could be career-ending. OP could easily be naive and assume that it’d be fine to work from another state because the office is remote, but the manager likely knew better, and basically lured OP into quitting before her wedding, before she was likely ready to do so. The manager didn’t do anything wrong, and great job from a business perspective, but from a human perspective she should have given OP a heads up about what was happening in the conversation.

        1. Observer*

          while not clarifying that the answer could be career-ending.

          Job ending and career ending are not the same thing. Also, apparently, the boss was also not aware that the company would not be able to support this move. I see why you would assume otherwise, but if you read what the OP writes, the manager DID in fact originally ask to allow the OP to move while staying on.

          1. Nicotena*

            True; job ending, anyway. Most people aren’t very sanguine about losing their benefits and being made into a contractor on short notice. If I was the manager, I’d have realized at least that this *might* be sensitive, even if I thought working in another state might be an option; I would have probably said something like, “Don’t make any decisions right now, but let’s find out what the options are. I don’t want you to be pushed out before you’re ready if this turns out to be an issue.”

            1. Ask a Manager* Post author

              It’s very likely that the manager, like the OP, thought it wouldn’t be a big deal if they’re working remotely permanently. Then found out when she looped in HR. It’s unlikely this was a devious plan from the manager.

            2. Yorick*

              But there’s no “before you’re ready” in this case. LW is being pushed out (in a long transition) when she moves to the other state, which is necessary for the company. If she decides not to move or to move later it sounds like they’ll keep her in the job while she’s still in the state.

              1. Deanna Troi*

                I’m really confused about this idea that she’s being pushed out. She has been told that she can’t work for this employer while living in the state in which she wants to move. She is still planning to move even after she learned this. I think her employer is being incredibly generous by working hard to find a way to keep her on through a contracting company for an extra six months.

        2. Sparkles McFadden*

          I wouldn’t assume the manager knew how things would go. In my experience, a lot of managers don’t know much about company policies beyond the routine day-to-day things. Employees ask for things the company (or local labor law) doesn’t allow, the manager says “Sure, no problem” and then things get really messy when you get to the “No, of course you can’t do that” point. At least this manager knew she had to talk to HR to see what the options were.

          1. Mallory Janis Ian*

            Yeah, I worked at a company where the transportation and accounting/HR departments were familiar with all the other states in which we were permitted to do business, but the other department managers weren’t aware that placing a remote employee in one of those states constituted “doing business in another state”. They found out basically the way this OP’s manager did: when HR wouldn’t permit a current employee to move and work remotely from one of those states because it’s a whole can of worms. It’s not something many people have to think about, unless it’s part of their day-to-day work. The OP wasn’t tricked by her manager nor HR; she just unwittingly gave notice and the hoped-for circumstances weren’t legally possible.

      7. Liz*

        I look at it as one of those things that you don’t really know will be a problem until the issue comes up! I know, until I started at my current company, on the legal side, and at one point, we were taking steps to register a presence in other states, that it was even a “thing” So in my younger days, i probably wouldn’t have even thought twice about it, but assumed too I could work from wherever.

    3. GNG*

      I think it’s a combination of naiveté and self-orientedness. [note: I’m not saying selfishness]. OP1: Alison gave excellent advice, as usual. However this plays out for you, maybe consider this a reality check and a learning experience. You made major decisions based on assumptions, and as a result, now you are facing an unpleasant surprise.
      You seem to be stuck on “there’s no reason for them to rush.” In reality, companies often have many reasons to rush that you’re not privy to. Sometimes your manager might know that a hiring freeze is on the horizon, and they need to work fast to get the replacement in before the freeze takes effect. Right around this time is also end of fiscal year for many companies, so it’s possible that they need to quickly secure the contract agency arrangement before the budget cycle runs out, so you can keep getting paid. There may not be money in next cycles budget for this arrangement, and they will have to terminate you once you move. These are just possibilities based on my experience, I’m not sure what your employer’s reasons are. But you didn’t mention that you specifcally asked why the timeline is only 1 week.

    4. Batgirl*

      Yeah, fascinated is the word. LW decided all by herself that the situation was workable. So much so that she never mentioned the move until asked? I can sorta imagine someone feeling confident that the set up would work for their employer, but to not even ask!

      1. ecnaseener*

        You don’t know what you don’t know! When all your dealings with your employer are fully remote and digital, it’s not obvious that a change in your location might matter.

        1. Ace in the Hole*

          I would probably have made the same mistake/assumption… especially since the few people I know who work 100% remote jobs are allowed to work from anywhere, including other countries! I have no idea what the logistics or legality of that setup is, but before reading this I wouldn’t have even thought to question it.

      2. Colette*

        It sounds like it is still months away. I wouldn’t have mentioned it, either – there’s too much of a risk of losing out on career opportunities because they know you’re leaving.

        1. Nicotena*

          Yeah exactly, this is what happened – as soon as the plan was mentioned, OP was basically pushed out of her job with little fanfare. It would have been better *for OP* not to mention it until she was ready to give notice, if it came to that.

          1. Observer*

            They haven’t been pushed out though. They are being transitioned out, yes. But there is not indication that they are going to be fired before the timeframe set up. The company seems to be pretty clear that hiring a new person and getting them up to speed is not happening quickly, so they are planning a long runway.

          2. Jennifer Strange*

            I don’t think OP was pushed out with little fanfare??? They are being offered an opportunity to continue earning a paycheck for 6 months while getting settled in their new state. That’s pretty generous.

          3. Colette*

            I do think that, since the OP wanted to keep her job, she would need to start the discussions more than a month or two in advance – but it doesn’t sound like her move date is set in stone, so it wouldn’t have to be before the wedding.

    5. WellRed*

      I’m shocked by that as well as the whole blithe “ well I just assumed it wouldn’t be a problem.” Major life decisions should take at least a bit of thought and communication.

      1. Elenna*

        I get the feeling she didn’t realize this would be a major life decision – she seems to have been under the (understandable, IMO) impression that with remote work there would be no difference between moving to another state versus moving to another house in the same state. If you were moving to a different place in the same city, you probably wouldn’t feel like you had to tell your employer, right, because it wouldn’t affect them at all? I think that’s how LW was thinking of it.

        That being said, now that LW knows it does affect her employer, she should definitely start working with them to figure out a transition plan rather than thinking of it as an adversarial “they’re pushing me out” thing.

        1. Parakeet*

          Yeah I’m very confused by all the people in the comments who seem to think that everyone just knows that it matters where you do remote work, and that if you don’t it must be incredible naivete. It’s unfortunate for the LW that they didn’t know that, but I don’t think it was unreasonable that they didn’t, or that their initial assumption was, like you said, that it would be like a move to a different city within the same state.

          1. Analyticsl Tree Hugger*

            I consider both OP’s surprise that it’s a big deal and the comments assuming everyone knows this understandable and deeply human.

            We all live in information bubbles where certain knowledge is considered common. For example, my ex never learned how to break a big task or project down into smaller pieces and spent more time complaining about how impossible a project was than working on the project (he was about ten years out of school and into his career).

            As others have pointed out in this comment section, we don’t know what we don’t know, including what is and isn’t common knowledge.

          2. Filosofickle*

            Totally agree. I have 25 years of corporate work experience and I had zero inkling this would be a problem until I read about it here in the past year’s discussions about covid relocation.

          3. HannahS*

            Yeah likewise. I didn’t know until I was told…and neither did anyone else! It’s not like we’re born understanding employment law. And these things move and shift! In my jurisdiction, I heard years ago that a fully licensed physician could practice virtual care from anywhere, and then heard variably that it was fine no matter what, fine if the patient was in the province and you were somewhere else, or only fine if you were in the province and the patient is somewhere else.

            Turns out, the rules are that both patient and doctor need to be physically in the province where the doctor is licensed, even though there is also national-level certification. Unless you’re part of one of the many special programs that allows doctors in one province to remotely treat people in underserved communities in other provinces/territories. The rules–which are complicated–have shifted and changed over the years, and misinformation travels around, too.

          4. mcl*

            Yeah, it’s something I only know because of life experience that I came by coincidentally. I am not surprised that many people assume that “remote work” inherently comes with the benefit that physical location doesn’t matter as long as the work is getting done. I feel bad for this OP, as she probably would have handled things very differently had she known.

          5. onco fonco*

            Yeah, I only knew this from reading Ask a Manager! I don’t think LW should have somehow known – though I think it would have made a great deal of sense to wonder and check rather than assuming there’d be no problem, but then I am an overthinker and planner extraordinaire.

            I am a bit baffled by LW’s framing of this as ‘am I being pushed out?’, though. I mean – the company has now made it clear that continuing to employ LW in the new state is untenable for them, and that they can offer a fixed-term contract but nothing more. We all know LW doesn’t want to quit, but it’s really, really clear now that moving = eventually quitting. So the decisions available are move and quit or don’t move and don’t quit. It is very disappointing for LW that their original plan isn’t going to work out, but there’s no pushing involved here.

      2. Metadata minion*

        If you don’t know about the tax implications — and most people who don’t work in HR or tax law or whatever won’t automatically know that — work probably seems like the one thing that *won’t* change with this major life decision. From my end, working from home in Massachusetts isn’t going to be any different from working from home in Minnesota, other than that they’re one hour away in time zone.

        1. Mallory Janis Ian*

          Yeah, it’s one of those things that make sense, in retrospect, once you know — but you don’t know until you know!

      3. Sparkles McFadden*

        When you don’t have a certain level of working/management experience (or union experience where you have to know the rules), you make assumptions that can seem pretty naive. Some people stay naive for a long time and think they are irreplaceable.

        I was the replacement employee in this exact situation. A guy was getting married and moving across the country to a state where our company had no office. When I was hired, he had, in fact, already moved and was working his notice period remotely. He was literally given paperwork that said “Your last day is…” He was under the impression that he could continue to work for another six months because the job was “too complicated” for anyone to learn in two weeks. I asked who approved the six month period. (I’d seen the department budget and there wasn’t money to have two people in the same job for more than two weeks). He said “They did say no to that, but I’m just going to tell them you’re not understanding things and they have to keep me on longer.”

        He still got his notice pay, but we locked out his remote access about an hour after we had that conversation. He never understood what happened and kept calling management and HR to explain why he should still be doing the job he resigned from.

        1. GNG*

          He said “They did say no to that, but I’m just going to tell them you’re not understanding things and they have to keep me on longer.”

          My jaw hit the floor with this one. He decided to throw you under the bus and put your new job in jeopardy. Good thing you asked – he almost succeeded.

          1. Mallory Janis Ian*

            And good job on locking him out immediately after he said that! Lord knows what-all he was likely to do!

            1. Sparkles McFadden*

              He had already set up automation that would delete necessary files on a date a month out. I had to come in on off hours to try to defuse all of the bombs he was already setting up to render himself “irreplaceable.”

              He actually burned a bridge big time because I documented everything for my new boss with dates of what would have happened when. The guy called the day after a date where important files were going to be magically deleted by one of his cron jobs to say “Is everything OK?” The boss pretty much told him she couldn’t be a reference for him anymore and why.

              1. RabbitRabbit*

                Wow, that’s amazing. Not only was he going to tell them you weren’t up to it, he was going to try to make it true.

              2. mcfizzle*

                I tip my hat to you for speaking up, documenting, defusing, and in general, being fantastic in such a terrible situation. Wow what a story. I’m kind of surprised lawyers didn’t get involved / threaten criminal charges. It would be interesting to see what he’s up to now (did he learn *anything*?).

              3. Deanna Troi*

                I read an article today about a woman who was convicted of destroying company files after she was fired and faces up to 15 years in jail! Wow! Google Medghyne Calonge.

          2. Sparkles McFadden*

            What amazed me was that he told me what he was planning on to doing. I was grateful for that because it let me head him off, but I still wonder what was going through his head.

        2. tamarack and fireweed*

          Well, not to make too fine a point of it, but the details of your situations doesn’t at all sound like the OP – there is no indication the OP is vindictive, or even *as* naive (or entitled) as your former co-worker.

    6. Roscoe*

      Totally agree here. This seems fairly straightforward. She is basically saying she will be moving within 3 months. It often takes a while to interview and find the right candidate. The company needs to cover their basis as well. I think she assumed since she had been there so long they would move heaven and earth to keep her.

      1. Forrest*

        I think it’s more that she didn’t realise moving heaven and earth would be required. If you’ve never had reason to know that working out-of-state is a big thing, it’s not obvious why what works from 15 miles away doesn’t work from 600 miles away.

        1. Julia*

          Yes, LW learned something she didn’t know about moving states. Now that she knows it, though, it would be a bit more productive for her if her attitude were “shit, I screwed this up because I didn’t realize; what are my options? let me see what opportunities are available in new state” and not so much “my company’s trying to screw me over”. The latter just won’t serve her. So I think there are two learning experiences to be had here.

          1. Escapee from Corporate Management*

            Great points. OP1, I’m sorry you didn’t know this would be a problem. Now that you do, treat it the same way the company is: as a business problem. Taking emotion out of it will help you make a better decision.

          2. onco fonco*

            Yes, exactly this. It’s an unfortunate situation but LW’s company isn’t doing something dastardly to her, they’re dealing with a business reality which they’ve communicated fairly and clearly to LW. LW sounds kind of like she’s still hoping her original plan can happen somehow, and it’s really clear that it can’t.

        2. quill*

          Yeah, especially if the company already has offices in multiple states – could be easy to assume a neighboring state is covered.

        3. Sola Lingua Bona Lingua Mortua Est*

          I think it’s more that she didn’t realise moving heaven and earth would be required. If you’ve never had reason to know that working out-of-state is a big thing, it’s not obvious why what works from 15 miles away doesn’t work from 600 miles away.

          Also, not all interstate moves are created equal. If you work in Pittsburgh, PA, and you’re thinking of moving to Morgantown, WV or Youngstown, OH, Pennsylvania has figured out how to play nice with their neighbors to one degree or another. People have lived and worked across those borders for decades if not centuries. Moving from Pittsburgh, PA to Denver, CO or to Reno, NV, is more a recent artifact of the digital age, at the logistics may well involve figuring those things out instead of there being an existing plan to execute or balk at.

          I could see an inexperience employee seeing “we have remotes in 3 adjacent states” and not realizing that doesn’t logically extend to the other 46 states.

          1. Anononon*

            Yup, I’m from the other side of PA, and it’s beyond common for people to live in PA and work in NJ or vice versa. Amusingly, right now, I live in NJ but work in PA, and my parents live in PA but both work at companies in NJ.

    7. Mockingjay*

      I recently moved to another state for family reasons and requested permanent telework from my company. I was fully prepared for them to say no. Out-of-state employees can cost a business a lot.

      If just one employee resides in a state, the company is obliged to:
      – obtain and maintain a business license in that state
      – follow that state’s and local municipalities laws for payroll, OT, leave, etc.
      – provide another insurance option if their current plan isn’t viable for the new state or locality
      – update payroll system for the new state’s taxes
      – file taxes in the new state
      and probably a dozen other things that I don’t know about on the corporate management side.

      COVID telework is a special circumstance. Most states haven’t bothered to go after companies (for taxes) with COVID teleworkers who moved, but that grace period is ending.

      I was fortunate; my company already had a business license in my new state. But I didn’t expect them to do all that for one employee.

      1. MicroManagered*

        Unemployment, Worker’s Comp, withholding and remitting any wage garnishments (if the employee pays child support, which is super common, for example)… to add a few more.

      2. Butterfly Counter*

        Quick question: Does this matter if it’s not telework?

        For example, I interviewed at a place on the border of a few states. From what I saw, employees lived in three or four states, but all were still less than an hour commute to the office campus. Also, at this point in time, all work was done on the office campus with, as far as I could tell, zero remote work happening.

        If a person’s home address is in a different state, but all work is done in state, do the taxes still matter?

        1. Analyticsl Tree Hugger*

          This is secondhand knowledge, so double-check this: Some U.S. states have some sort of reciprocal agreements that makes taxes and all that easier to handle across state lines, but the details are specific to each situation.

        2. turquoisecow*

          I worked in an office near the border of two states and about the same number of people came from one state as the other. Between NY and NJ there’s many examples of what you’re talking about, and I imagine it’s the same with many locations near borders of states, especially in the northeast where the states are small and you don’t have to drive very far to leave the state. I can’t imagine that being an issue, though it may make tax time more complicated for the employee.

        3. Tiffany Aching*

          Depending on the state, it can be based on either where the employee lives, or where the work is performed, or some combination. In my state, it’s about where you live — so we have been very strict about remote employees having to reside in the state on or prior to their first day, even if they are working remotely. We’re a very small HR/Payroll team, and simply don’t have the capacity to manage the taxes, laws, and policies that come with having employees in multiple states.

    8. Sola Lingua Bona Lingua Mortua Est*

      I don’t think LW1 is in the right by believing the job would persist after relocation, but I do feel for her and see where she’s coming from. During the pandemic, I’ve seen many elements of status quo that were the way they were since time immemorial and weren’t subject to meaningful questioning sudden become negotiable. The idea that the other end of the VPN looks the same from the home office no matter where it may be makes sense (at least on a technical level), even though it’s not always so.

      If it’s not too late to reconsider the relocation, I’d start there. It may be an employee’s market in some sectors, but good employers are still valuable and not common enough. Notice can be given and relocation can happen once a good job in the new location can be secured. If I were going to try to keep the current job, I’d probably start the conversation with my boss along the lines of “I’ve reflected on what I’ve learned about the business’ needs, and I value my tenure and position here. I’m willing to postpone relocation indefinitely.” The business may still go ahead with their plan–you cannot control that–but pragmatically, an already-successful in-house candidate in the role (i.e. you) is going to look like a safer bet than bringing a new person in to start learning that may or may not pan out.

      It’s not fair, but you probably have a challenging but not impossible row to hoe to keep your current position where you are now if that’s your want, or you have 6+ months to replace the job in the new location if you prefer that route. Life’s not fair often enough and there’s too much information available to expect the employer to stay in limbo through the wedding.

      1. Nicotena*

        Also, if OP is young and early in her career, she might only have known fully remote workplaces. Maybe she was onboarded remotely and has never worked with her coworkers in person. It doesn’t seem surprising to me that she wouldn’t have realized this could be an issue. The shock expressed from the rest of the commenters is probably from people who have years of experience with traditional offices.

        1. Jennifer Strange*

          OP said that the office has “all been working remotely for over a year due to Covid.” So it wasn’t remote prior to the pandemic (not fully remote at least)

    9. Lunchtime caller*

      To follow up since this thread got a lot more comments overnight lol—I understand a bit not knowing the tax stuff we know from this site, and how unpleasant the shock is after. For me it was also the addition of the phrases like “but I never said I wanted to leave” and “I’m getting the bum end of the deal” that were like…. LW. You do see that there is no deal here, right, just softening your landing? You do see that you, in practice if not intention, did in fact quit? Anyway, not judging, just very fascinated!

      1. Observer*

        For me it was also the addition of the phrases like “but I never said I wanted to leave” and “I’m getting the bum end of the deal” that were like…. LW. You do see that there is no deal here, right, just softening your landing? You do see that you, in practice if not intention, did in fact quit?

        Yes, this is what caught my eye. I’m having a hard time understanding why the OP isn’t seeing it.

        1. GNG*

          I have a hard time not seeing it as….entitlement.
          I do hope OP will make good use of Alison’s advice, and gain some perspectives from the comments.

          Boss went out of her way to help OP1. But OP doesn’t seem to understand all the efforts it took the Boss to convince grandboss (if there is one) and HR to offer this arrangement as an option. Boss very likely have to use up some of her own social capital for this.

          The administrative maneuverings are very likely behind the rush. Boss and HR seem to be experienced enough to know it takes multiple steps to move this arrangement forward and they need to get the ball rolling ASAP.

          But here’s OP like Oh i ain’t got time for this I got a wedding to plan!

          1. Sola Lingua Bona Lingua Mortua Est*

            It might just be my own naivete, but naivete is what I’m seeing more than entitlement. She still wants the job, the employer still wants the job done, so status quo holds (as it does under normal circumstances), except she’s not experienced enough to see the complications that will derail the status quo coming down the pike.

            1. Jennifer Strange*

              I think it’s a bit of both. I think naivete is what got OP to the point where management stepped in and made their offer, but upon hearing what management had to say (i.e. why she can’t remain an employee AND wfh in this other state) and seemingly continuing to feel she has a right to do so…that feels a bit more like entitlement to me.

              1. Sola Lingua Bona Lingua Mortua Est*

                but upon hearing what management had to say (i.e. why she can’t remain an employee AND wfh in this other state) and seemingly continuing to feel she has a right to do so…that feels a bit more like entitlement to me.

                Put that way, I can see exactly what you’re saying and don’t disagree.

      2. LC*

        I agree.

        I totally get not thinking through the implications of what a business has to do to set up an employee in a new state. I doubt I’d have thought of it on my own, and if I remember correctly, I was sort of in the manager’s situation one time. (Employee was already remote in a different state than I was in, she mentioned offhand she was moving. We had employees in something like 30 states, so I didn’t think it’d be a problem till I asked HR what information we would need from her.)

        But LW’s use of the word “admitted” is just screaming at me. That word seems like such a very odd choice if you’re in the “don’t know what you don’t know” state of mind.

        Between that and the other points you mention, it kind of feels like LW knew that it might not be a non-big deal, or at least that the company might not love the idea (maybe they like everyone to come in for a monthly all hands or something), and was kind of hoping to just … quietly move without mentioning it.

        1. RabbitRabbit*

          Yup. Which is why I mentioned a friend who did just that, because sometimes that’s not out of the question.

      3. Tiger Snake*

        LW1 is seeing leaving a workplace as either an official firing (i.e., with PIPs, warnings and build up) or resignation. And admittedly, that’s what we usually see here on AAM. They’ve simply failed to consider that change in circumstances may lead to employment no longer being possible.

      4. Britt*

        I mean, she did say she told her boss that she would *likely* be moving, which is different from saying you will definitely be moving…

    10. Knope Knope Knope*

      Yeah I honestly hope we more from LW1 because I find this confusing too. How do they not see this as functionality resigning? If the plan is to work from a state that the company can’t or won’t legally support, what options are there? I’m genuinely confused about what alternatives the OP thinks should be available.

    11. Jerry Larry Terry Gary*

      She said she wanted to move in a couple of months. That’s a long notice period if they are treating it as a resignation.

  3. Viki*

    LW # 1
    It feels like you are taking this too personally, rather than as a business decision (makes senses! Wedding soon everything is heightened!)

    Yes, it sucks that right before your wedding, you now you have to deal with the job situation, where if you move out of state you have six months, without benefits as a contractor to wind down your position at a company you presumably love. This was probably a conversation that should have happened earlier, when you decided that moving out of state was in your future.

    However, try to reframe it as you have a paid 6+ month job search period in new state, where you can actively use your boss/company’s network to find a good position in your new state. You have this, cards are all on the table currently, and your boss and HR want you to succeed both in your current position, and in the transition out.

    And this is my pleading as a manager to everyone who is now remote and wants to move out of state, please, please tell your leadership as soon as you have confirmation. Don’t just assume you can work out of everywhere. It’s a huge mess and headache, if we don’t have a presence and the cost and ROI to set up for potentially < 5 employees is rarely worth it, and when you do it, you burn through goodwill and capital I have for you as I (& HR &SLT) scramble to cover our ass with the legal aspects.

    1. Wut?*

      What is SLT? Wikipedia’s 9 items listed for SLT don’t make sense in the context of your comment.

        1. Dancing Otter*

          Oh, I thought you meant the State and Local Tax department, which also made sense with regard to nexus. Thank you for clarifying.

    2. TPS reporter*

      My company issued a very clear policy on this in the past year. It’s helpful for leadership/HR to do this as it’s a very common misconception and likely not something your average person thinks about unless they have direct experience.

      1. Aitch Arr*

        Yup, while my company had this policy/process for several years, we on the HR team started including a slide in our monthly deck that gets distributed to all departments.

    3. Vanilla Bean*

      My brother in law has a coworker who made this mistake. Moved 3,000 miles without approval during quarantine, got his family settled, made arrangements to build a house in the new area, and is now being recalled. He isn’t a strong performer so no one is going to bat for him. He thought it was okay because another coworker did the same (a higher level high performer with formal approval). He’s now raising a stink about being treated unfairly, and trying to put the other coworker’s arrangement in jeopardy if he can’t get a policy exception for himself. It’s exactly as frustrating as it sounds for everyone involved.

      1. Liz*

        Wow. that was a bit presumptuous of your BIL’s coworker! And just proves why is important to make sure stuff like that is ok before acting! It’s also why it irks me when I see articles touting the benefits of moving from one high cost of living area, to another that’s cheaper, since “everyone” is working remotely, and its a great way to save money etc. When it mentions NOTHING about the issues involved with picking up and moving to another state or country!

    4. Smithy*

      While this is good for employees to hear – I would also echo this for management. I think it’s valuable to really start sharing now what can and can not be done and why.

      I think this is information that those in the know really know, and entirely doesn’t register to other people because it’s simply never been an issue to cross their paths. And then the first time it ever has, it was during COVID when states and companies weren’t following those rules as tightly.

      I will also add, that this can feel like a rule that sometimes hits against people “not in the know” that can feel more unfair in that it can have class implications. Essentially, someone hears that it’s impossible for them to be registered to work in State A but they can keep their 100% remote work job provided they live in State B. Someone in a position to maintain residences in both State A and State B, can then keep their job even if maybe they technically spend more time in State A – but do just enough for their employer to have them living in State B.

      This isn’t a reality for an employer to fix, but certainly a dynamic they can get ahead of.

      1. goducks*

        The tax implications and labor law implications aren’t about where the employee resides, but where the work is performed. If you split your work time between two states, both states are involved in taxation, and the labor laws in effect are the one for the work performed, even if that frequently changes.

        It can be a real accounting headache. Keeping a residence in the home state of the employer and then doing remote work full or part time in another state isn’t a work around to the law.

        1. Smithy*

          Absolutely – but I think that ultimately this falls into a grey legality where some people are more sophisticated at pushing those lines than others.

          Someone who is typically works from State A, but then is visiting their parents in State B and then goes to a vacation home in State C and works during that time very rarely will officially report that.

  4. Heidi*

    Well, obviously LW2 should give Jim a Dundee award for this.

    But seriously, I kind of think the best reward is putting measures in place to prevent soul-killing work binges like this from happening in the future. Sure, there will always be times where more work is required, but if measures can be taken to that ward off total chaos, it’s worth doing. Just because Jim was able to handle it doesn’t mean can continue at this pace forever.

    1. BuildMeUp*

      Yeah, I feel like LW2 is a little dismissive of Dwight, too. Working at the same level during the pandemic as he did before shouldn’t really be labeled as “remaining stagnant” imo. Especially since Dwight is entry level and, based on the letter, has spent more than half his time with this company during Covid times. It’s been a difficult time for everyone in different ways.

      1. Ask a Manager* Post author

        I noted this below, but that could mean anything from “fine but not great” (in which case I fully agree with you) to “not hitting the bar we need” (in which case the OP should be addressing it), but it’s not really clear from the letter. (I will say, though, my hunch on it from reading a zillion letters over a zillion years is that it’s probably closer to the latter.)

  5. RitaRelates*

    LW1: I would definitely start looking at jobs in the area that you are moving, perhaps after the wedding to not stress about it as much, but soon. Your current job has made it pretty clear that they are planning on replacing you because you said you are moving.

    LW3: In my communications department, we have standard procedures typed up for where materials need to go to/ who needs to look at certain documents before they go out. Have you thought about creating one and referring to that when the issue comes up? I work at a very large company though so it is very necessary.
    Also, as one of those people who hates being told what to do in any situation, I prefer a please followed by a command when it comes to a higher up asking me to do something (i.e. please make sure to send to me for edits when you’ve finished your draft). To me it gets the point across that it isn’t optional but is said in a more pleasant way. I also realize being told what to do is part of any job in which you report to someone so I don’t get too riled up about direct commands.

    1. TPS reporter*

      My thoughts too on LW3. I also work for a large company so we have to be very transparent in writing to keep all of the processes moving smoothly. Perhaps just not done in a smaller organization as much. Lw3 could even have a little blurb in their email signature about the process.

    2. Alton Brown's Evil Twin*

      LW3 Ditto.

      This is fundamentally a policy and procedure issue.

      Once you resolve that, it’s much easier to take a hard line in your communication. It’s not “Oh, hey, could you let me see that before it goes out?”. It’s “According to policy, I need to have that for review and approval 48 hours before it’s distributed.”

    3. Delta Delta*

      Re 3 – I once worked for a supervisor who thought the best way to get people to do necessary tasks was to say, “do you want to…” as a means of softening the request when no softening was needed. Had she said, “task A has a deadline of Friday, so please get the materials to me by Thursday at noon” I’d have said thanks, and been all over it. but once she said, “do you want to …” followed by some task, so I just said no. No, I did not want to do whatever that task was. And then she had nowhere to go with it. And when I said that I knew I was being a jerk, but I think at that point I was mostly out the door so I didn’t care. I did tell her in my exit interview that being direct would be more effective. No idea if she incorporated that or not.

  6. learnedthehardway*

    OP#1 – the reality is that you were going to get pushed out or that you would have left no matter what. While you’re probably kicking yourself for having disclosed to your manager that yes, you are going to move, it’s not all bad. Your employer might not be doing exactly what you want them to do, but they do seem to be trying to work with you to give you the options that are possible for them to provide. Since they aren’t set up to employee people in the state you’re moving to, my understanding is that it would be problematic for tax and legal reasons. The next best thing is to be a contractor with the company, which they ARE able to make happen.

    It’s unfortunate that the payroll company won’t provide benefits, but you can use this as an opportunity to negotiate an increase in your cash compensation that would offset the cost of you purchasing your own benefits plan. In fact, that’s probably the best option for you at this point. Figure out what it will cost you to get a decent benefits package, and ask them to add that cost into the compensation. In fact, look at your total compensation package – bonuses, benefits, pension, etc. etc. and figure out what you’d be leaving on the table. (A standard conversion is to take your base salary in your permanent role and to multiply it by 1.3 to figure out what you should look to get as a contractor. Adjust up or down based on how generous your benefits and bonus package is.)

    Worst case scenario, they won’t agree to offer more, but at least you’ll have asked, and you can start your new life out in your new state with a job that pays at least the majority of what you earned before. You can look for a new role when you get out there, if you choose, while still being employed and drawing about 70-80% of your original cash compensation. Not great, but not too terrible.

    Best case scenario – your company is willing to negotiate the package to retain you as a contractor in your new state, and makes you whole on compensation by paying out cash instead of providing benefits. If you’re really lucky, your new spouse will have a good benefits plan, and you can bank the extra cash.

    1. goducks*

      If LW 1 is to get her full salary via employment at a contracting company, her current company will already be paying more since that company will take a cut. It may only be possible to offer this transition to the OP because the cost of the agency is roughly the cost of salary plus benefits on their own payroll. A benefits allowance may be a bridge too far budgetwise.

      1. Amaranth*

        I’m confused why they have to pay through a staffing agency, apparently forcing OP to accept a salary the agency determines (?) instead of paying OP directly and just issuing a 1099.

        1. J.B.*

          Because the staffing agency handles the legal stuff.

          I am employed through a staffing agency, although I get benefits we have had charming examples like them saying “oops, we misinterpreted our own employee handbook, you have now forfeited leave! But you can go negative, no biggie!”

        2. Lucy Day*

          Same – I had literally the exact same scenario as the OP, minus wanting to work remote after I moved, I knew it wasn’t an option and wanted a new opportunity in my new state. My former company paid me directly during the 3 month remote transition we worked out. There may be reasons why they think they need or want to go through the staffing agency (I’ve never been a manager or HR so I don’t actually know what it would be) but it’s worth asking if cutting out the middle man to make it more financially feasible is an option.

          1. I've Escaped Cubicle Land*

            It might be something as simple as the budget. I was a state hired temporary employee once and they anticipated loosing something in the budget during the legislation for the next fiscal year. So they moved us all to temp. agency hires because that was a different line in the budget. The legislation did not axe whatever line it state hired temps were on so after the fiscal year started (mid summer) we all got switched back to state hired temps. I had the fun of going from a bi weekly check to a weekly check then back to a bi weekly check that had a several weeks delay due to how they set them up. So that was fun to budget around. But, overall had very little effect on the actual job I did. As a temp I did not have benefits to worry about. And then 3 months later they made me a regular full time so more paperwork fun!

        3. NoRegularPosterName*

          Probably because of the IRS rules regarding employees vs self-employed contractor. In this scenario, OP is still considered an employee, but of a contracting company. Even if OP was able to work as a 1099 contractor, she would still have no employee benefits & would be responsible for all her own FICA & Medicare taxes.

          1. AcademiaNut*

            Yeah, you generally can’t (legally) turn someone into a contractor while the job stays the same.

          2. Ask a Manager* Post author

            Exactly. You can’t just decide to pay someone as a 1099 contractor; the job has to legally qualify, and hers likely wouldn’t without significant changes.

        4. doreen*

          They don’t have to go through a staffing agency – but it’s very likely that her job is not suited to the OP being classified as an independent contractor ( 1099) rather than employee, in which case their choices are 1) keep her as an employee with all that entails, including establishing a new tax nexus, needing to learn and comply with new employment laws, setting up WC and unemployment, etc in a new state or 2) Hire her through the staffing agency which very possibly already operates in that state and doesn’t have to set up any of that stuff

        5. Observer*

          instead of paying OP directly and just issuing a 1099.

          Because that would be illegal. The OP is not going to be an independent contractor in any meaningful sense of the word. Using 1099 as a way to get around employment laws is the kind of thing that comes either from sleaze or ignorance. Neither is a good look.

          Also, using a 1099 would almost certainly make the OP not eligible for all of the benefits they currently get while increasing their tax liability. So, even if it were legal, it would be an even WORSE deal for the OP than what the company is offering.

          1. goducks*

            This! You cannot call someone a 1099 contractor and have them do the same work as an employee. This kind of moving off the books is not legal, and in the days when the IRS did a lot of auditing, having both a W2 and a 1099 for the same employer for the same year was a big red flag. Which doesn’t mean there might not be legit reasons to have both a 1099 and W2 from the same employer, but it is uncommon. The situation the OP is in is not one of those situations.

        6. Aitch Arr*

          The OP and her role may not meet the IRS requirements for an independent contractor.

          The contingent staff agency my company uses charges a markup of 22.5%, so there would be little to no room for any increase in compensation.

    2. ecnaseener*

      OP really shouldn’t be kicking herself for disclosing this! Better to find out now and have all this transition time than to find out after moving.

      1. Nicotena*

        The way to handle this, for anyone else in the situation, is to ask questions without committing to your plan; ask about remote policy “if I had to move” but if asked, say “our plans aren’t fixed” (even if they are; things can change, after all). Do *not* let snoopy HR or coworkers or managers tease out more information than you’re willing to share until YOU are ready to give your notice.

        1. Aitch Arr*

          “Snoopy” HR or managers might need to know more details so they can go to bat for establishing nexus.

        2. ecnaseener*

          Fair. I guess OP can kick herself for disclosing rather than investigating first — but I still think it’s better she has this info now vs never mentioning it and not finding out until it’s too late.

  7. Crunchy*

    #2: take care that Jim doesn’t get the impression that the gift card is the *only* benefit he is likely to see for his above-and-beyond efforts. “In recognition of your long hours and exemplary work, please accept this $50 iTunes gift card” can easily land wrong depending on how it’s framed.

    1. Anononon*

      Fortunately, craft stores often have significant sales and coupons on custom framing, so I’m sure OP could get something really nice looking.

        1. Anononon*

          No, it could look really nice. The gift card itself is pretty simple, so maybe some nice double matting, an ornate frame.

    2. AnonThisTime*

      My thought too. In all my years I have never appreciated (or used) a gift card from an employer, and many of them have been downright insulting.

      1. Putting the "pro" in "procrastinate"*

        That’s interesting. At my company we often give gift cards, say, to a project lead at the completion of a major project, and in my experience (both as a recipient and a giver) they are always very well received. Maybe it’s because the company’s culture of recognition and advancement is relatively healthy, so that people are confident that the $50 gift card (or whatever) is not the ONLY recognition they will get for doing the big project. It will also go into their annual review, contribute to an increase in performance rating (which means an increase in bonus) and so on. So it doesn’t feel insulting — again, in my experience — it doesn’t land as “here’s 50 bucks for all that hard work you did.” Rather, it’s “here’s a small gesture now in immediate recognition of that awesome thing you did, because the other positive effects of it take longer to work their way through our performance recognition process.”

        1. Hen in a Windstorm*

          My awful boss once gave everyone a $5 gift card for Christmas. To a sandwich place where nothing on the menu was under $8. (And it was him, not the company. The company always issued funds for team celebrations, so I assume he used those on himself.)

        2. topazzcat*

          I agree with Putting the “Pro” in “procrastinate”. Giving praise and acknowledgement is important to me because it shows that my team takes the time to think about me. I have been given gift cards, hand written mailed thank you notes and a large bag of my favorite chips by my supervisor and others on my team. I love that the people I work with appreciate what I do. A gift card or acknowledgement means a lot.

      2. prismo*

        Seriously. I worked for several years at a really toxic nonprofit where everyone felt unappreciated (among many other problems). At Christmas every year we got a $50 gift card. I’m sure the bosses saw it as a nice thing to do for employees, but to us it felt more like an “eff you” coming from very rich bosses who treated us badly and underpaid us the rest of the year.

        (Somewhat relatedly, they also really didn’t seem to understand the concept that most people NEED their salary, and though it was fine to push off decisions on renewing contracts, hiring, etc., to the last minute, often leaving people unsure if they needed to be finding other work. Ugh.)

  8. EPLawyer*

    #2 — is Dwight stagnating because Jim is your go to guy? Are you giving Dwight opportunities to grow or do you just naturally turn to Jim when things hit the fan? Does Jim just take over when things hit the fan thereby making sure Dwight never has a chance to shine?

    Also keep in mind, Dwight is entry level and Jim is not. Dwight might not be able to do all Jim can do, but make sure he is given opportunities to show he can learn and get experience.

    Your giving a gift card might not be a sign of favoritism. but if he is getting the card because of his hard work when no one else was given the opportunityt also shine because you prefer working with Jim on the tough stuff, that is favoritism.

    1. Ask a Manager* Post author

      It sounds like Dwight and Jim have very different roles (mid-level specialist vs entry-level assistant). They’re naturally going to have different projects and responsibilities, possibly with no overlap at all.

      My read of the letter is that Jim shows a significantly higher degree of initiative and productivity and Dwight is maybe … not great. But it’s not really clear. I originally had a paragraph in my response that I didn’t end up publishing that said that if Dwight “stagnating” means he’s not really doing well (as opposed to ok but not great), the OP needs to talk to him about how to bring up his performance … but if it does mean ok just not great, that’s been the most a lot of people could do this past year, and that’s the reality of things right now. But I took it out because it’s not clear what was really meant and ultimately I don’t think changes the answer to the question she was asking.

      1. EPLawyer*

        I defer to your experience of course. But Dwight is entry-level. Probably his first job. He might not KNOW you have to ask for work or discuss wanting to grow with your boss. He might think you just take what is handed to you. there are so many examples of people not realizing everyone doesn’t have the same experience so they review things through that lense of “of course everyone knows this is how it works.”

        1. Julia*

          It seems like you’re applying some of your own experience to LW’s vague language (maybe seeing an entry-level employee not given stretch assignments), but I could just as easily say: LW, if Dwight is not contributing at the level you need then please let him go and give Jim and the other team members someone who pulls their weight to help them out.

          Either scenario could be closer to the truth. In short I think this is a “take the LW at their word, don’t give advice based on context you mentally supply from your own life experiences” situation.

      2. Esmeralda*

        It also sounds like Jim has a significantly higher willingness to work a lot of extra hours.

        This is the part that squicks me out, tbh. Dwight may not be working extra hours because…he has family obligations that preclude it? he has a health issue he doesn’t need to disclose because he can manage the required hours but more than that is too much? he has appropriate boundaries between work and personal life?

        1. Analytical Tree Hugger*

          The squickiness would make more sense to me if Dwight and Jim were at the same level. The fact that Jim is more senior makes it less odd to me, as more responsibility and seniority should come with more responsibility (i.e., when things go south, I would expect a more team members in more senior roles to step up and handle more of that burden).

    2. Purple Princess*

      Yes, this is something I’m dealing with now, as the Dwight in the situation. My co-worker Jim gets all the stretch assignments, all the additional responsibilities and harder work.. and I get nothing. Often I don’t even find out these opportunities exist until it’s announced that Jim is taking them on. I’ve asked my boss about how to position myself better to be considered for these things, but the response I got was basically “well, Jim has been here longer/knows more about X Y Z process and so it’s better if he takes these things on”. Which just confirms it’s a vicious cycle – Jim gets the stretch assignments and so develops the skills/knowledge/network connections which position him better to take on the next opportunity, which then develops his skills further and mean he’s better suited for the next opportunity… And as a Dwight, there’s nothing I can do to break that cycle.

      It’s incredibly demotivating to the point where I’ve completely stagnated in my job and I’m actively jobsearching. It’s clear Jim is seen as the rockstar and is the go-to person for anything above & beyond the day-to-day (and is rewarded for it, he’s just got a promotion), and I won’t ever get the chance to prove myself and access those opportunities to learn/grow/develop.

      1. Beet farmer*

        I hear you Purple. I am/was in the exact same boat many times. I had to move laterally (jobs, states, countries) to get more experience to move up because my work was not being recognized. (Getting a Master’s degree wouldn’t help me, and I had maxed out on all the relevant training and certifications).
        For the last five years I was the Dwight (though not entry level) and it was so frustrating, and the pandemic made it even more so, because I had to stay home with my kids, one of who is disabled, while Jim (single, no kids) was given extra projects, and was called out at team meetings as a superstar. All while I sat there barely surviving.
        Finally, the kids went back to in-person school, Jim was promoted and moved to another team, and I am acting in Jim’s place. My boss was nervous at first, but is so pleased with my work, and I am getting excellent feedback from our clients. I am in a much better place mentally (third colleague Phyllis has mentioned she noticed right away), I just wish my boss would have had faith in me years ago. I am sure part of it has to do with me being a woman with kids, though.

      2. Generic Name*

        That’s super frustrating, but your boss inadvertently gave you a gift in being honest about your chances at growth at this company. It’s good you’re job searching.

      3. The Rural Juror*

        As a person who was once a Jim, it can be frustrating on our end, too. I was once completely overwhelmed with projects and asked my boss if I could have Dwight help me out. I saw it as a way to give Dwight some much-needed experience and give me some reprieve. My boss said no! For the life of me I couldn’t understand why. Dwight was perfectly capable and seemed eager to have me delegate some tasks over to them. I actually ended up missing a deadline because there just weren’t enough hours in the day and my boss was upset with me. I ended up leaving soon after that because I was so burnt out. Dwight left about 3 months later. Our boss was the one that got screwed in the end when he lost two stellar employees!

      4. Analytical Tree Hugger*

        You are doing something to break the cycle: Leaving for a better job. It sucks that you need to do that, though :/

  9. katkat*

    #2 hmm. Since you supervise only two people, would it be possible to give both a small token (as in thanks for this year) and then some extra for Jim?

    I’m just thinking that this has Been a tough year, there are only two people on your team and the one who doesnt get a gift is the most junior. I would Be rolling My eyes of i were Dwight, and get a hit in my morale, even though I would understand your reasoning. Or maybe I’m just being too sensitive! :D

    1. GNG*

      Hmm I think giving both a gift is the worst option for OP, because for Jim, his gift becomes meaningless or is even a slap in the face if Dwight barely contributed but still got a gift. He might think “I busted my butt for this company but boss cant even tell the difference bwteen what I did and what Dwight did.”

      For Dwight, the gift can become mixed-message from the boss. If OP already gave him negative feedback on his lack of contribution, but then turns around and gives him a gift to thank him, he’s likely to be confused. He might actually interpret it as “I guess OP is okay with my performance overall all! See, they gave me a reward, so I can’t be doing so bad!”

      1. katkat*

        Oh! Didn’t Even think that. It’s pretty standard in my company to give little gifts (gift cards etc.) To all employes every once in a while. (Like after pandemic year.) So giving something small to everyone wouldn’t Be that weird. And then giving the “Jim” something actually valuable as extra appreciation (like a day off etc.) like a But in a small team like that, leaving out the most junior would Be a slap on the face.

        But yeah, clearly there are very different ways to approach this!

        1. ecnaseener*

          OP said they do give birthday/holiday gifts, so it’s not like Dwight will never get anything. This gift would be specifically about Jim’s project.

  10. Allonge*

    LW3, I think there is also something strange about the organisational culture around you. Or how you interact with it. At least it’s really different from the ones I know.

    E. g., gently, ‘some people don’t like to take instruction and get offended by any, even from a manager’ is not just on you to manage, meaning there is no way for you to prevent such offense.

    Nor is ‘external comms have to be approved by the comms person’ rude – can you get the highest level management to confirm this to everyone? Have a policy that spells this out?

    Being polite and not going out of your way to offend is a great management (or, like, human) position. It’s also important that you get across what you really want from others – Alison’s advice will help you there. In my experience, in most cases, the solution to any communication issue is more communication – more details, more repetition, more channels etc.

    But, generally, consider also that it’s probably not (just) you being a bad communicator, it’s a lot of weirdness around you.

    1. Chris*

      I agree that it’s the org culture. I am unfortunately in a similar culture. I wish our managers would do more to set expectations but in the meantime Alison’s messaging was very helpful

    2. Shark Whisperer*

      I wonder if there is has been a lot of changes around management and procedures at LW3’s org recently. I work at a small nonprofit that is currently growing rapidly. Necessarily, a lot of procedures that never existed before are now being put in place to deal with the expansion. Previously, program managers had pretty much total autonomy over their programs. It can’t work like that anymore, but suddenly having more people involved in your work feels restrictive and can cause people to bristle. Even I have gotten annoyed at instructions from my manager, partially because I felt like she didn’t have the context to be giving me instructions on how to run my program when she had never paid much attention to it before.

      We just got a new comms person at my org and everything has to go through her now. A few people bristled at first because they liked not having to take into account anyone else’s opinions or timelines. However, it was explicitly discussed with us *why* this change needed to happen. There’s a lot more overlap between programs now and it’s important that one person knows everything that’s going out so the same thing isn’t going to the same person from 5 different staff members. I wonder how well it was communicated to LW3’s coworkers what her role is and why things need to go through her.

    3. Clorinda*

      OP3 needs to be extra extra clear.
      “Thanks for offering to look at our flyer.”
      “In fact, that wasn’t an offer, it’s a reminder; I have to sign off on everything that is distributed before it goes out. If you need to distribute the flyer by the 10th of next month, I’ll need to see the final version by the 3rd at the latest.”

      1. Former Young Lady*

        Your script is excellent. The “thank you for offering” response strikes me as willful obliviousness/blow-off.

        I’ve run into that throughout my career from senior colleagues who couldn’t take policy/instruction from anyone outside their upline. They seemed to view team hierarchy as a binary of “people with status” vs. “people who are accountable to others,” and as self-identified members of the former category they couldn’t wrap their heads around someone from the latter category telling them what to do. The result was always a patronizing response thanking me for my “offer,” my “suggestion,” or for “keeping an eye on that for us.”

    4. Analytical Tree Hugger*

      That part jumped out at me as well. It sounded a bit like the employees were annoyed/frustrated that their managers were trying to…manage them.


      Regardless, the suggestion above that OP and the senior management need to say, “All external comms need to go through OP because [FILL IN THE BLANK].” And then everyone needs to reinforce that new process.

  11. CatBookMom*

    LW 1 – Admittedly, my knowledge is a couple of decades out of currency, but, honestly, the difference in the state payroll taxes paid from one state to another isn’t all that great; the federal ones are the same, regardless. Nor is the possibility of real estate or business taxes on whatever your WFH or small office might be.
    While it might more-heavily have an impact in sales taxes, because of the different tax rates from the existing states to the new state, unless your employment in the new state is going to be a heavy new-sales impetus, that also shouldn’t be all that big a deal, esp given the changes in sales tax rules for businesses – like Amazon – who don’t have locations in all the places they do a lot of business.
    In the late 90s my last company kept opening offices in different US states, in different *countries*, and until I suggested a sit-down with the owner, my boss was unwilling to mention that a few weeks/a month or so advance notice might make things easier, cut back on the small penalties for later reporting.
    This might not be as relevant as ‘they don’t want to deal with someone that far distant.’ But you should have the info.
    AAM, maybe you have a resource which can update my old-rules info on these issues?

    1. Ask a Manager* Post author

      It’s not just state payroll taxes. It’s that you have to set up nexus in that state, charge/collect/pay sales tax in that state, set up and pay for workers comp insurance in that state, plus learn, follow, and stay on top of that state’s employment laws (which in some cases can be really different re: significant matters, like how overtime is incurred and paid out, what the threshold is to be exempt, how your vacation pay works, and on and on). It’s really reasonable for an employer to choose not to do all that for one person.

      1. CatBookMom*

        All valid. I apparently skimmed past my acknowledgement of those issues – nexus, worker’s comp, etc. – in my comment. I hadn’t thought about the difference in employment laws. Thanks.

      2. Fierce Jindo*

        Do the tax implications also extend to non-profits? I know the employment law issue would; do non-profits also need to establish a nexus?

        I work for a non-profit (a university) where there’s a lot of struggle right now over where people can live. Some people who temporarily relocated during the pandemic want to stay where they are.

        1. Eldritch Office Worker*

          Yep! My non-profit has two people moving out of state right now (one to California) and it’s a nightmare from tax implications to insurance to…California being California (Massachusetts to California isn’t as big an adjustment as some companies would face but it’s still not nothing).

        2. Analytical Tree Hugger*

          Yes, it is. I went through a similar transition and it was A Big Deal. I had framed it as, “I’m making this move and it would be great to keep this job (but I’m okay with us parting ways if it doesn’t make sense for the org to make this all work).”

          It worked for about four years, then I resigned due to ongoing issues with the org.

        3. Glomarization, Esq.*

          Yep, absolutely. Every state handles non-profits its own way. In my jurisdiction, for example, among other things there’s a registration process outside of and in addition to the usual business incorporation process, and there are also reporting requirements around your donation solicitation activities.

      3. Kimmy Schmidt*

        What happens if a company doesn’t realize everything that’s involved and inadvertently lets an employee work from a state they shouldn’t? Is the employee at all liable, or does all responsibility land with the employer?

        1. Observer*

          Whether or not an employee would be liable in terms of taxes is just one of the issues at stake here. For most of the issues, if the employer doesn’t obey the law it’s going to be their problem to deal with.

          Say the employee moves to Colorado, which requires employers to provide a salary range up front. Employer posts a job and doesn’t post the salary range. They are out of compliance, and could run into trouble.

          Or they move to a state with a sales tax but they fail to collect it. Again, the state could come after them.

        2. BigHairNoHeart*

          Not sure about workers comp issues, but regarding sales tax, the employer would be liable. I work for a state revenue agency, so I can explain why a little (note: this is the simple version, lots of exceptions apply, don’t sue me!).

          If a business is located in State A and an employee moves to State B where the business has no physical presence (no employees working out of that state, physical business location, etc.) they’re going to need to register to collect sales tax in State B. So any time they make a sale into State B going forward, they need to collect State B’s sales tax, and make sure that tax is remitted to State B’s tax collecting/revenue agency.

          It can get complicated, of course, because every state does things a little differently when it comes to sales tax. So that’s why businesses like to avoid this. The company could get audited by State B (if State B ever became aware of the situation), and then the company would be liable for any tax owed that was built up over time + whatever penalties might apply for not having registered correctly to begin with. The company couldn’t realistically shift that liability to the employee.

          Because of the pandemic, most states are being lenient about enforcing these sales tax nexus rules, but that won’t always be the case, so businesses need to watch out for this.

          1. BigHairNoHeart*

            Oh, and to be clear. The “they” I’m talking about in the second paragraph is the business. Not the employee.

      4. Jane of all Trades*

        Agreed, I think this is the reason. I know of other businesses that tried to keep on employees but ended up cutting ties because the cost and headache of establishing income tax nexus in a new state was too much (especially if the business is run as a partnership, each partner may have a personal income tax filing requirement in that state if an employee moves there and creates nexus). Source: Cpa
        But I’m sorry you can’t just work remotely from there, LW1

      5. Fran Fine*

        Another consideration is any additional city tax burdens the company would have to incur. For example, my HR rep told me that my city had some funky tax obligations they had to follow in addition to everything you mentioned being set up when they filed for nexus in my state. There are only two of us in my city, but I think maybe a handful of us in this particular state, so I thought that was interesting they went through all of the hoops they did for such a small number of employees (and they did this long before I came onboard, so there was only one other person at this 4,000 plus global company in my city/state).

      6. mediamaven*

        This. We learned the hard way when an employee moved to a different state last year because of Covid. It cost us a ton of money, penalties and all that. It was not an easy process.

    2. Frank Doyle*

      It’s not just the difference in tax rate between two different states, it’s all the differences in labor law between the two states. The link that Alison posted in her reply leads to a previous letter where she discussed some of these issues.

    3. AcademiaNut*

      My understanding is that one big issue is that the employer has to follow employee laws in the state of residence of the employee, and those can vary wildly. Minimum wage, PTO, paying out vacation, overtime laws, levels of required accommodation for disabilities, and so on. So it’s not just payroll taxes.

      Having thought about it, the only way to get out of this situation would be to have all of these things standardized federally. If you did it by the state the business was registered in, you’d suddenly get a whole bunch of businesses being ‘located’ in the states with the worst employee protections.

      1. ecnaseener*

        “you’d suddenly get a whole bunch of businesses being ‘located’ in the states with the worst employee protections” — I believe that’s already a thing to some extent! I remember it coming up in a recent comment section, something about businesses avoiding California because their employee protections make it expensive to operate there.

        1. Sola Lingua Bona Lingua Mortua Est*

          I remember it coming up in a recent comment section, something about businesses avoiding California because their employee protections make it expensive to operate there.

          Businesses relocation from California to Texas or from California to Florida are becoming more common. Google sends me a story on it in my news feed every few days.

        2. princessxena*

          Same thing with Colorado–a lot of businesses are avoiding them because of the new salary laws.

    4. EPLawyer*

      The labor laws are significant but the other stuff is huge too. The company would have to file to operate in that state (leaving them more open to being sued in that state as it now has a presence). The company has to file business taxes in that state and any other business filings, etc. It’s not just paying a matter of taking out the right taxes from the employee paycheck.

      It’s a lot of effort to go to for one employee. No matter how great.

    5. RosyGlasses*

      It’s actually way more nuanced than this, particularly when it comes to corporate tax and the impact of having business nexus in a state. For example, in one state that an employee wanted to move to, it would cost about the same amount as their salary to register and establish presence. And those are in perpetuity, as withdrawing from a state is not as easy as it should be. Payroll tax laws vary drastically from state to state, including local and county tax laws and so not only do you now need to register, pay for UI and other payroll expenses, you now need to make sure your payroll person knows how each area’s laws impact the business and employees.

    6. Observer*

      Admittedly, my knowledge is a couple of decades out of currency, but, honestly, the difference in the state payroll taxes paid from one state to another isn’t all that great; the federal ones are the same, regardless. Nor is the possibility of real estate or business taxes on whatever your WFH or small office might be.

      The amount of payroll taxes is the least of the company’s worries. I suggest that you read the comments here for some of the potentially major issues that can come up. I’m not being snarky – there is a lot of information, much more that I could put here, even with a real wall of text, and it would help explain why this can be such big issue.

  12. HA2*

    LW1 – you say “though I’ve never given notice or even hinted I wanted to resign” but that’s not entirely true. You’ve said you’re moving – so that is, effectively, giving notice. They know that after a certain date, you will not be working for them.

    You might not have intended to give notice or resign. But effectively that’s what happened.

    …I’ve also gone through a similar process, and I’ve *tried* to frame it to my management not as “I’m moving away on X date, will I still work here?” but as “I’m considering my options and deciding whether to move. One of the considerations is whether I’ll be able to work remotely – would that be an option?” So that if the answer is no, it doesn’t sound like I’m already resigning. Not sure if it worked, but I’m not being pushed out yet, I suppose I’ll see at performance review time…

  13. Qwetry*

    LW1 -it sounds like your boss would very much like to keep you during the transition. You may be able to negotiate job security, like a contract agreeing you have a job for 6 months and can’t be fired early unless it’s ‘for cause’.

    Though your employer may require you to agree to a similar clause if you go that route (and may be suspicious – is LW1 planning on leaving within weeks? Should we even bother to contract a staffing agency? – if you push back).

    Depending on various factors, that may be something you’d like to negotiate for, or it may not.

    1. Ask a Manager* Post author

      It’s pretty unlikely — most employees in the U.S. don’t have contracts and employers generally won’t give them. It sounds like they’d like her to stay on to train the new person but are also fine with her not doing that … and if they’re fine with telling them no in a week, there isn’t really incentive for them to give her a “can’t be let go except for cause” contract for six months. I think this kind of thing is a hard sell when you’re the one who asked for the change. It’s easier in a situation where, say, the employer is asking you to move to a new state because they need someone there.

      1. Emma*

        Every time the topic of contracts comes up on AAM, I can hear my first year contract law tutor going “any agreement that person A will do something in return for money or services is a contract!” in the back of my head.

        I know it’s more or less a colloquialism – in this case “contract” is short for “formal written contract”. But it’s just such a different use of language from what I’m used to, it’s really odd!

        1. RabbitRabbit*

          In this case, this kind of contract has an automatic clause that it can be terminated at any time by either party without cause. :)

  14. too young to die, too old to eat off the kids' menu*

    Hey #2 – whatever you do, don’t give Jim the gift in front of Dwight.

    I had a manager who handed out holiday gifts to literally everyone on my team except the newest member (who’d started during the summer, so she wasn’t even all that new). And to make it even worse, this was during a team meeting. The secondhand embarrassment for both of them was almost too much

  15. Andy*

    L2 I think that you should tell Dwight what exactly it is you appreciate. And treat him with more trust/autonomy regardless of whether he gets promotion. Appreciation means more then token gift. Token gift can even cheapen the overall impression of how thankful you are, because it in facts puts money price on it.

    And of course make sure Dwight you don’t plan on Dwight working long hours in the future. I have seen management intentionally make more tight plans once they found out someone is willing to sacrifice all if needed, it is extremely demotivating.

  16. Tuesday*

    “Pushed out” seems like a harsh way to describe LW1’s situation. She’s moving to another state that her employer isn’t in – I think they’re just moving forward and making plans for her departure because there’s no real alternative.

    1. TPS reporter*

      I see a lot of this frustration around HR policies that people are not aware of because it never came up before and it’s not written anywhere. Please all HR folks out there- write things down and post them.

      1. Roscoe*

        I think sometimes things come up where you don’t need a written policy on something, until you do.

        Like I don’t think my company has a written dress code anywhere. Half our staff is and always has been remote, and the offices are pretty laid back. That said, no one that I know of has pushed that too far. But if someone does, that will likely be when there is something in writing.

        I can easily see this situation as one where they hired people in a certain place, and didn’t expect people to move and assume they’d keep their job. Now someone has, so a policy will need to be formally put in place.

        1. TPS reporter*

          Don’t you think a dress code is a bit lower stakes than out of state employees? It’s also a huge topic right now with the expansion of remote work. I’m saying that HR groups out there need to read the tea leaves. It will happen if it hasn’t already.

          1. Eldritch Office Worker*

            You’re right, but this is new for a lot of companies and the amount of vetting through lawyers it takes to get this kind of thing in writing can be arduous. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t need to happen eventually, but it makes sense that it hasn’t happened yet in a lot of cases.

          2. CmdrShepard*

            Honestly I think because of the expansion of remote work being such a hot topic right now I think OP should have known better. As an AAM reader, I’ve been aware of the issues of an employee trying to work remotely in a new state, I have seen countless articles “Why you can’t work from Hawaii! Can you keep your job from a new state?” etc…. in the general media not even employment focused areas.

            1. Eldritch Office Worker*

              Eh I wouldn’t say that’s entirely fair. You probably see more of those articles *because* you’re an AAM reader, that’s how targeted ads work. And even if they see them not everyone will click on them, they’re often intrusive and click baity. If everyone inherently knew these things there’d be less reason for HR and legal counsel. There’s a lot to know and this isn’t an egregious knowledge gap.

          3. fhqwhgads*

            But on the flip side, I’d think a lot of folks might argue “you can’t work for us in a state in which we have no business presence” isn’t so much a policy that needs to turn into a written policy, as it is a general following of the law. If you’re working for a company with lots of remote employees in, say, 10 (or 5 or 24 or whatever) different states but will not add others, then yeah, written policy there for clarity, totally. But if you’re a company with employees in exactly one state, even if some of them are remote, it shouldn’t really be necessary to spell out in a handbook PS: you can’t work remotely in other states. It’s equivalent to saying “we do what the law says”, which is usually superfluous (and subject to change frequently it’s not worth spelling out). When it’s a some but not all situation the specific list becomes helpful but when it’s a binary “here vs not here”…spelling that out is sort of like saying “we will pay all employees at least minimum wage”. Like, yeah that’s not your “policy” it’s just what the law is.

        2. Julia*

          I think TPS reporter is saying HR professionals should try to anticipate this stuff and write it down *before* it comes up. Dress code and remote employees moving out of state are two issues it’s not hard to predict would come up.

          1. Silence Will Fall*

            I think for a lot of companies that employees moving out of state only had one outcome pre-pandemic. If you were moving out of state, you were quitting your job. HR departments are trying to catch up with a world of remote work, just like a lot of us.

            1. Fran Fine*

              Good point about the moving out of state bit. My former employer was anti-WFH/remote work unless you were in sales. They didn’t have a policy about moving to another state and trying to keep your job because, well, that just wasn’t a thing (again, unless you were in sales). If you moved out of state in a non-sales role, you would be leaving the company. Now with this pandemic, I imagine they’ll probably be rethinking this stance if they saw no substantial dip in their workforce’s productivity while people worked remotely.

            2. Tiffany Aching*

              Yeah for my company, all jobs were in person, so of course everyone lived within reasonable commuting distance; there wasn’t a need for this kind of policy, because everyone lived in-state. It was only once we all went remote and people started wanting to move/hire out of state employees that we had to address this.

      2. Elspeth McGillicuddy*

        Presuming it isn’t written down. It doesn’t sound like OP realized she needed to look.

      3. Khatul Madame*

        In my experience (large companies) policies are in place, posted, and ignored by most.
        As a manager I tried to help people out, for example if someone had a death in the family, I told them about the bereavement leave and how to code it on the timecard, and squared it away with HR. When someone is dealing with a loss or serious illness, it would be bad form to tell them to research their benefits.
        In situations that are not as dire I’d prefer that the employee tried to find an answer to their question before asking me, but that rarely happened – even though they were generally smart and proactive. So every year I had to field emails like “Do we get a day off for Columbus Day?” from multiple people who were perfectly capable of looking it up on the company intranet…

        1. Fran Fine*

          In my experience (large companies) policies are in place, posted, and ignored by most.

          This is also very true. My company makes new hires sign off on all policies within a month of starting precisely for that reason.

        2. goducks*

          OMG, yes! This is true of all sorts of sizes of orgs! Things that are explicitly spelled out (like which holidays we cover, or when benefits kick in, or inclement weather policy) in our handbook which is posted on our intranet are routinely asked of HR. Even with regular all-company reminders that the handbook is available, signature by new hires during onboarding and advanced training for managers… people do not want to refer to the written policy. Even when we make it easy for them to do so.

          1. Allonge*

            Oh yes. One reason is that once a place gets into the habit of documenting all this, it can easily extend to over 100 (sometimes 1000) pages of text, which very few people in their right mind will read front-to-back for fun. Usually there is quite a bit of legal lingo in there too.

      4. Aquawoman*

        As an in-house attorney, I’m going to say your expectation that people will read HR policies might be tad over-optimistic. Also, HR generally has a lot to do, so writing policies over something that might happen doesn’t seem like priority 1.

      5. ceiswyn*

        This isn’t so much a policy as a legal and financial practicality, though.

        Possibly it would be useful for HR to write some form of guidance for people considering moving out of state and working remotely forever, but I doubt that it’s come up before and unless they’re a very large organisation I doubt it’s going to be a sufficiently frequent occurrence to be worth an FAQ.

    2. BRR*

      Yeah I always think of being pushed out 100% employer driven. The boss looks to have actually pushed to keep the employee in this situation

    3. Person from the Resume*

      Actually the LW let them know she was quitting. She didn’t realize that is what “I’m moving to another state where the business does not have a business nexus” was, but that is what it meant.

      LW can’t legally work from new state so at least the boss’s questioning got the LW advanced notice that they were wrong that they could work virtually from their new state.

  17. rudster*

    I can understand LW’s POV too… Heck, I know of one case someone whose work was mostly remote and moved from the US to *New Zealand* after her spouse got a killer dream job in a very specific niche industry there. And she arranged to continue her same work for her previous employer from there (though her employer is a large multinational so she is officially employed by the NZ office now). So from LW’s standpoint, what’s moving a few states away? Just some admin and logistics… Although if LW’s employer really wanted to keep her why not offer the contractor arrangement on an indefinite basis?

    1. princessxena*

      It sounds like in your friend’s case the company was already set up in the area she was moving to and it ended up being more of a paper transaction than a huge amount of admin, while doing that initial setup in a new state can be a massive pain in the butt because of state taxes, labor laws, nexus, etc etc. Also, contractor work might not work out in the long run because the IRS has some pretty pointed rules on how contractors need to be treated like contractors and not employees, so the company might still not get what they needed.

  18. Justanotherbrick*

    LW2 – also make sure that your hard worker isn’t on a fast track to burnout dumping so many hours in. Make sure you give them space to NOT work tons of hours or take on lots of extra projects. Even going so far as recommending or insisting they NOT do all the projects. Sure it’s really helpful up front, but long run, you’ll lose them.

  19. PrairieEffingDawn*

    I’m truly wondering if *I* am the candidate LW5 is referring to. Last week I had a great interview for a job for which I met 95% of the requirements and had a great rapport with the hiring managers. I got my automated rejection letter two days later. I’m still scratching my head to figure out what happened. I’ve been reading AAM long enough to know the long list of things that could have put me out of the running so I’m trying not to be too defeated by this but it’s hard!

    What’s worst about this situation is that I sent a thank you email with follow up questions right after the interview, and a couple days after I was rejected one of the hiring managers responded to my questions without acknowledging the rejection and her answers were phrased as though I could still be considered. I’m sure she was just trying to be polite but it momentarily gave me a false sense that maybe there’d been a mistake.

    Either way, lesson absolutely learned, I’ll never get that cocky about a good interview again.

    1. L. Ron Jeremy*

      And don’t count your new job until the first paycheck is in the bank; businesses can change during the period between getting your offer letter and first paycheck.

    2. Jessica*

      I mean…I think it totally would have been worth replying to that email from the hiring manager saying you were grateful for her time and that you had been sorry to receive the rejection notice but hoped you’d have the opportunity to work together in the future, or something like that. The hiring manager not even mentioning that you had been rejected is odd enough that I think there is a tiiiiiiny chance the rejection letter *was* a mistake!

      1. PrairieEffingDawn*

        Yes, I did respond in that exact manner! I even asked if she could offer some feedback as to what could improve my candidacy in the future. It’s been a few days and I haven’t heard back so I’m trying to wipe my hands of the whole thing.

    3. Jo*

      My experience is not at all the same as LW5 or yourself as the possible candidate, but something in it struck a chord with me.

      I work for a non-USA Government department and as far as I am aware our applications are manually assessed by the panel, they don’t go through any auto-screening software.

      I applied for a position one level above mine in my department. I felt that it was a bit of a long shot because of the level difference and because there were signs it was earmarked for someone else, but I still applied because I felt like I had a good mix of experience which would suit the position well and I knew I had a great rapport with the person this position would report to.

      I wrote a really strong application and was very confident I had done enough to get to the interview stage. I didn’t expect to win the position necessarily, but I thought I was at least a decent challenger who was going to give the field a run for their money.

      I received a quick rejection, not long after the position closed. Not shortlisted for interview. Way quicker than I would have expected the process to move. I was a little surprised but I assumed that the field of candidates was strong and moved on. I also felt a bit embarrassed that I had been so overconfident about my application writing skills, as clearly my application wasn’t as good as I thought.

      Then late on Monday, a week after the position closed and presumably after the interviews had been done, the Executive Director this role reports to and Chair of the panel called me at the close of business, from his car, to thank me for applying and told me how great my application was, but people a level or more above me had applied and they had to cut it off somewhere.

      That’s all fine, and he absolutely did not have to call me to offer this feedback and that was all what I expected, but then he went to say that if he’d “had more time” to read my application properly he would have interviewed me. So it seems to me like he didn’t even bother to read my application until after the process was done and they’d successfully secured the earmarked person. And he alluded to perhaps other panel members not supporting my application where he did. And he also said he hadn’t been able to talk to me before now as he had to wait for the process to close. Which makes me think that he was trying to avoid me appealing the process.

      He called me to be kind and encouraging, but honesty I feel annoyed that my application actually was good enough (and as good as I thought) the whole time but I still didn’t get a look in.

      But at the end of the day it wasn’t about me, or any shortcomings of mine, it was just the way it unfolded on this occasion.

      1. Eldritch Office Worker*

        Ugh, he bungled that I’m sorry. I’m sure he meant it to be encouraging and reassuring, maybe it was even motivated by him being cross that other pane members disagreed with him, but I can see how that would be demoralizing (or even infuriating) all said and done.

      2. Analytical Tree Hugger*

        If it helps, a different way to think of the situation as:

        1) They had enough high quality candidates who were already at Level III (or whatever), so it wasn’t going to be a good use of their time to closely review all of the other applications.
        2) He was being polite about saying he would have offered you an interview, to encourage you to apply for future roles.

        So, it’s not about your application quality, it was about meeting a particular bar. That type of filtering can and does happen, even if it’s manual (based on my experience on hiring committees).

        1. Deanna Troi*

          I agree. If I had been reviewing the applications, and we realized early on that we had so many of Level Y applications to make a robust pool, and then decided that we were only going to interview people who were already at Level Y, why would I even thoroughly review the applications that were one level below that? I work for the federal government, and our USA Jobs postings often say that we will review the first 100 applications only. If you are applicant #101, your application won’t even be looked at, even if you are the perfect applicant. I think you should feel good that he told he that he cared enough to swing back around and look at your application anyway and went out of his way to tell you that he was impressed by them.

    4. Shark Whisperer*

      I was on the hiring panel recently for a position at my org that was equivalent to mine but in a different geographic area. We also wanted to hire really quickly, if we could, so there was some overlap with the person currently in the position. We had two great candidates. Both had good rapport with us in the interviews. We all agreed that either person could do the job and do it well. Ultimately, it came down to the fact that there were two main skills needed to succeed in that position. Wakeen had skill X but would need to learn more of Y. Jane had skill Y but would need to learn more of X. We went back and forth for a while, but ultimately we consulted the person currently in the role and they said that they thought that it was more important to come in with skill X, all else being equal. So, we offered the job to Wakeen. Jane got a rejection like three days after an awesome second interview. I am sure she is wondering what could have happened, but she didn’t do anything wrong!

      1. PrairieEffingDawn*

        I really hope it’s something like what you describe that happened to me. It’s the generic nature of the rejection letter that makes me feel like I suck. My field is portfolio-based, so the hiring managers already had a good sense of my work before I interviewed, and the interview was perfectly pleasant so I can’t think of anything off base I could have said to dissuade them. So I am forcing myself to conclude that I *do not* suck. But it would definitely be nice to know that something internal like what you describe went on.

    5. Ace in the Hole*

      We had a high-level person resign recently with almost no notice, so obviously they put out to hire for the position ASAP. As a public agency in a remote area, hiring for this kind of position takes a while.

      Weeeellllll…. within a few weeks of this guy leaving, all sorts of problems started popping out of the woodwork. Turns out he had basically fabricated his job description. Upper management realized they needed to completely rewrite the job description, reclassify it to a lower-grade position, and redistribute duties across the entire department. Needless to say, we can’t go through with hiring a candidate who applied for the “Director of Llama Services” job when it’s about to become a “Lead Llama Assistant” position. But I’m sure the top interview candidates were understandably confused and disappointed!

  20. Skippy*

    LW5: Thank you for this reminder that hiring decisions sometimes have nothing to do with the quality of your candidacy — as an applicant you can hit every mark, and there are still factors beyond your control that can cause a company to go in a different direction.

    I really hope you reached out to the candidate and explained the decision to them as well.

  21. Forrest*

    OP1, I think the only thing that could have been done better here is expectation management on the part of your manager. I don’t know whether she also thought it was just a “rubber-stamp” matter too, or whether she assumed you’d already know that there was a chance HR would say no, but it sounds like you left that conversation thinking that if you and she agreed it was all sorted, and were flummoxed to have all the control over timing taken away from you. If your manager had let you know in that first conversation that “talking to HR” could go either way, this could have felt like much less of a shock and you’d have had time to think about what your next step might be.

    Is the move to your fiance’s state definite? Would he move to you? Is there a third state where your employer already trades that you could both move to? I get that this feels really shocking and sudden to you, but you need to move past the idea that the company has done something wrong and that you can make them undo it and start thinking creatively about what you and your fiance actually want.

    1. doreen*

      I don’t think there was any failure to manage expectations on the part of the manager- if someone says they will talk to HR about your options, it doesn’t sound like it’s a done deal to me. If it was entirely up to the manager, there wouldn’t be any need to talk to HR about options – maybe the manager would have had to talk to HR to get the process started, but not about options.

      1. tamarack and fireweed*

        Given that manifestly the LW was expecting a different treatment, doesn’t that suggest that the expectation management fell short? And “options” can mean various things: anything from “of course we’re doing this, let’s figure out how” to “hmm, no idea if we can do this, let me ask whether we have some potential ways of making it possible”.

        I understand that, maybe because of the wedding, the LW didn’t see the red flags and signage when she should have.

  22. TimeTravlR*

    #3 – My job is the same – nothing leaves without me reviewing it. When I am introduced to new hires, I tell them that in a light way. But it gets the messages across. Fortunately, my leadership is very clear that I am the gatekeeper so it has only been an issue on a rare occasion.

  23. Harper the Other One*

    LW2:’what about arranging some face-to-face time with Jim and his grandboss/other significant senior leadership person? A company paid lunch out or one on one meeting where Jim gets to hear not just from you but from someone senior to you that he’s knocking it out of the park? The one time that I had that experience it was terrific – worth much more to me than the financial cost of the lunch.

    1. Madeleine Matilda*

      LW2 said that her go to prior to COVID was to take Jim out, but she can’t take Jim out now due to COVID and particularly the Delta variant.

      1. Harper the Other One*

        Oh, true – I missed that reference. Maybe a Zoom takeout lunch then? My main thought was to consider contact/networking with the next level up as a big part of the reward.

  24. Detective Amy Santiago*

    OP #1 – your wedding is in two weeks, you’re planning to move out of state, and you didn’t proactively discuss this with your employer? I’m sorry, but this is on you. You should have asked about the possibility of working from a new state months ago. It shouldn’t have taken your boss asking you about your plans for this discussion to happen.

    1. ecnaseener*

      Unfortunately this is not common knowledge, and not immediately obvious to people who don’t already know.

      1. Clisby*

        But wouldn’t it be immediately obvious that even if you’re remote now, the office could start calling people back in next week? How was OP planning to handle that from another state?

        1. Ask a Manager* Post author

          A lot of offices have announced they’re staying permanently remote. I can totally see why the OP assumed this would be fine if they’re permanently remote. Most people don’t know about the reasons it’s complicated.

          1. Clisby*

            I could too – but nowhere does OP indicate that the company has said they’re permanently remote – just that they’ve been remote for about a year.

    2. learnedthehardway*

      Going to disagree on this one – while the OP probably should have taken the initiative to mention this to her employer, instead of waiting until her manager asked about her plans, giving months of notice is generally not a good idea. An employer could easily decide that since you’re not going to be with them 4 months from now, for example, that they might as well replace you now and get it over with.

      1. Aquawoman*

        But it wasn’t “notice” in the sense of notice that she’s quitting. It was that the LW wanted an alternate work location and even if that was possible, it might take some paperwork/discussion. I don’t think it was reasonable for her to just assume that since she’s been working remotely for the past year, she can just keep working remotely forever, among other things (insurance, eg, which varies state to state).

        1. Detective Amy Santiago*


          I’m considering a move to another state in about a year and I’m already looking into my options for keeping my current WFH job.

          It would have been very easy for LW #1 to approach this as “Fiance and I are trying to figure out where we’re going to live. If I moved to State, would I be able to continue working here?” Not presenting it as a done deal that she’s definitely moving would have prevented the whole pushing out thing.

      2. Nicotena*

        Yeah, unfortunately the possibility of parting ways is one of those places where the needs of a company are at odds with the needs of the employee (and I try not to be generally adversarial about work situations – but in this case, the conflict exists). Of course your employee would love to find out that you’re thinking of leaving early. Then they can not give you valuable assignments, bonuses, not let you take that vacation, etc. They can hire your replacement on their schedule and then send you on your way – so convenient for them. For you, you presumably want to be receiving your full paycheck up until the *moment* you’re prepared for it to stop. In general, that means giving them the standard two weeks and no more. I’m sure OP wasn’t expecting to be essentially out of a job right before her wedding and not keeping her same paycheck now that all the bills are due, maybe they’re trying to buy a house, etc. She could have stayed behind and timed the move differently to her advantage, and now she’s out.

        1. ceiswyn*

          No, in this case I think LW1 and their employer would both have benefited from a much earlier discussion.

          For example, if the OP had floated the idea of a move with their employer before they actually made the decision, they would likely have found out that they couldn’t stay employed in their spouse’s state before they got this far along in their planning.

          By not checking their assumptions, they’ve forced themselves out – and possibly unnecessarily.

          1. Nicotena*

            Right. In other comments I suggested OP should have asked questions about the policy without committing to any plan. Once you commit by saying “I’m moving,” that’s the danger point. You should say, “what would happen if my fiance and I needed to move?”

            1. ceiswyn*

              Yes, I agree. And that conversation should have happened before the OP got anywhere near this far in intending the move!

      3. Observer*

        That’s true. But that’s actually not what’s happening here.

        And, the issue here is that the OP thinks that they are being treated unfairly, when that’s not the case. The employer is not trying to push them out “early”. They are simply trying to create a reasonable transition plan. Whether the OP likes it or not, they CANNOT continue to be employed directly by their employer once they move. It doesn’t matter if the use any “magic words” or not about resigning. And, unfortunately, what they want doesn’t change that.

    3. Observer*

      I’m sorry, but this is on you. You should have asked about the possibility of working from a new state months ago. It shouldn’t have taken your boss asking you about your plans for this discussion to happen.

      You are essentially right, but I also think you are being a bit harsh. It’s easy to see why the OP didn’t realize that this could be a big deal. So they were blind sided.

      But, OP, having said that, it’s important that you recognize that you DID make a significant mistake here.

      1. Clisby*

        Did the OP never even consider the possibility she’d be called back to work in the office with very little notice? How was that going to work?

  25. NewYork*

    I feel bad for LW1, but agree with AAM, it is unlikely this can be resolved. In fact, it is only getting worse. New York tax authorities announced that they will increase audits of people working remote if they work outside of the state for the convenience of the employee. In the past, these audits were generally limited to people earning over $1million, but they are now going after people earning as low as $100,000. My employer is saying that they will not allow remote working for NY employees other than in states where they already have an office.

    1. LDN Layabout*

      It’s a frustrating position to be in (I was hoping to spend a month in another country to visit family while still working – manager was a yes, org is a no) but it’s totally understandable from the company side of things.

      1. Mental Lentil*

        I honestly don’t know why that would be an issue. You’re not changing your residency, right? The fact that you are working while technically on holiday shouldn’t change anything.

        1. Person from the Resume*

          Legally you may owe taxes and may have to follow the laws of the place you do it work. Laws are different but many/most of them are predicated on where you do the work not just your permanent legal residence.

          1. Student*

            State laws on income tax vary wildly, with NY on the very strict side of things (for understandable reasons – lots of people work there but don’t live there).

            There are many states (and some cities!) that charge income tax based on where you physically do the work, not on your residency. Some do a hybrid – income tax is partially based on residency and partially based on physical work location.

            The states that tax you based on your physical location while working generally have a grace period to avoid catching people on a short business trip. That grace period also varies wildly by state – it might be 6 months long (so you’d need to physically work there for longer than 6 months), or it might be two weeks long, for examples.

            1. Nicotena*

              Two weeks?? Two weeks is insane. That’s a vacation. Europeans can travel for entire summers every year, and we’re creating a special tax situation for someone who’s gone for two weeks (yes, I know, vacation isn’t working, but for a lot of folks the situation is muddied).

            2. Sola Lingua Bona Lingua Mortua Est*

              State laws on income tax vary wildly, with NY on the very strict side of things (for understandable reasons – lots of people work there but don’t live there).

              There are many states (and some cities!) that charge income tax based on where you physically do the work, not on your residency. Some do a hybrid – income tax is partially based on residency and partially based on physical work location.

              The states that tax you based on your physical location while working generally have a grace period to avoid catching people on a short business trip. That grace period also varies wildly by state – it might be 6 months long (so you’d need to physically work there for longer than 6 months), or it might be two weeks long, for examples.

              This is so true. I used to handle my own taxes until I had to start filing in multiple states because I started to work for an employer in a nonadjacent state. Even if I could figure it out, the liability of having done so dwarfs a good accountant’s annual fees.

        2. LDN Layabout*

          The argument was surrounding both the legalities but also the fact that offering support (whether IT or otherwise) wouldn’t be possible while I was there. There could also be VPN issues although this wasn’t stated outright, but I’ve known people where the VPN has restrictions on which countries it can be accessed from.

        3. Colette*

          How big an issue it is depends on a lot of things.

          If you’re working in another country, you need to make sure you comply with their laws (e.g. work visas).

          Data security is another issue – you’ll be using out-of-country servers, for example.

          The ability to work might itself be an issue – will you be able to access the sites/information you need to access?

          What’s your backup plan if your work computer stops working?

          1. I'd Rather Be Eating Dumplings*

            If your work is covered by insurance at all, that’s another factor. If your work involves regulated information or regulated products, that’s another factor. If you work in an industry that’s licensed (eg doctors or lawyers) — that’s another factor. So lots of things to consider. It could be no big deal, but it could also be a huge headache.

            1. Colette*

              And the country itself matters – if you read your software licence agreement, it may say, for example, that you can’t use it in certain countries.

        4. doreen*

          It’s not a matter of changing your residency- states often impose income taxes on non-residents working in the state so that a New Jersey resident who worked in NY pre-pandemic would have paid NYS non-resident income taxes. It has been the case for years in NY that income earned by someone who lives in NJ and works at home for their own convenience owes NYS income taxes on all of the income from the NY employer. So for example, if someone worked three days a week from their office in NY and two days a week from their home in NJ , they paid NYS income tax on all the income from that employer, not just the approximately 60% that they earned while physically working in NY. * Nothing has changed about the actual law since the pandemic – it just applies to a lot more people.

          Very often, it goes both ways- (NJ taxes NY residents who work in NJ) and usually you get get a credit so that you don’t pay taxes to two states on the same income.

          * It’s possible to avoid this if the employer sets up the home office as a established place of business of the employer as the non-resident tax is only imposed on those whose assigned work location is in NYS – but that brings all of the other issues (nexus, employment laws , WC, unemployment) into play.

  26. CatPerson*

    LW1, when exactly were you planning to spring it on your employer that you were planning to work in another state? You presented this to them as a done deal–that was a mistake–but you can’t blame them for taking action now that they know. Assuming that remote working because of covid means that they automatically will adopt a work-from-anywhere policy just for you was not reasonable at all.

  27. Roscoe*

    #4 seems like something you probably just shouldn’t do IMO while people are remote. To be clear, I never minded the passive sign in the break room. But once it becomes an active message to me and others, I think that is a bit too far. If you have people you are particularly close to and want to ask them, I think that is fine. But I think anything directed at EVERYONE is too much. I would be ok with the Slack channel though, since people would have to subscribe to that

    1. Teapot Repair Technician*

      Right? I thought one of the reasons people like WFH is freedom from non-work-related distractions.

      1. Lucy*

        In my experience, that’s less of a benefit when you are full-time remote (and arguably that’s okay, since some companies find it important to foster company culture while remote working).

  28. CatPerson*

    #4 A lot of companies, especially large ones, have non-solicitation policies in place that should theoretically prohibit such activities (though they happen anyway). It’s because of union-avoidance. You should check your employee handbook to see if this is even permitted.

    1. Mental Lentil*

      You would think this would be okay, since it was okay to hang it in the break room, but people get weird when things end up on a computer screen. It would probably be a good idea to check with someone higher up in the food chain.

    2. RB*

      Also, can we please have this one thing that was somewhat advantageous about the work-from-home: the absence of the constant solicitations? Sorry if that seems really negative.

    1. Mental Lentil*

      It wasn’t really a question, so there wasn’t a response from Allison. (I wondered the same thing too, for a minute. Coffee, where are you?)

  29. Mariana*

    Yes to Yammer, Teams, Slack suggestions – thanks! Not a perfect solution, as noted by Alison and a few of you, but may be the best we’ve got.
    I’ve asked about adding a “by-line” to my signature in emails, preceded with something like “Personal message:” to make it clear it’s not a company thing. Same for adding something similar to a Delve profile.
    Newsletters – We do have a monthly dept communication. I like the idea of adding a separate link to a list. I’ll run that one by the powers-that-be.
    Yes, we have a corporate policy on solicitation. I’ve approached our compliance officer with the questions.
    Will let you know what kind of responses I get from HR/Compliance – THANKS!

  30. Luke G*

    OP3: For your second example, my go-to wording is usually something like:

    “Hey Dani, I need to request some custom labels printed. Are you the right person to ask about getting that done, and if so then what information do you need from me to start the process? Or if not, do you know who’d be the right person to ask?”

    90% of the time they ARE the right person and the process moves quickly. If I’m wrong about who to ask, or if there is some formal request process I didn’t know about, then they can correct me without thinking I was trying to “instruct” them to do something outside of their job.

  31. Cat Lover*

    I want to know when LW1 was planning on telling their employer they were moving???

    “…though I’ve never given notice or even hinted I wanted to resign”- this isn’t about giving notice or “wanting” to resign. You literally are not able to work where you are moving.

    One week is a short time frame, but if the move isn’t a done deal, let them know that! But they still will probably want to know within a certain timeframe so they can go through the hiring process for a replacement. It sounds like your boss really went to bat for you.

  32. Another Michael*

    LW2 – I think the best gift you could give Jim would be advocating for a raise/promotion/work advancement opportunity. That’s the type of advocacy and thanks employees want. To me, framing things at gifts really personalizes the nature of work relationship when really the best “gift” my employer could give me is rewarding good work by considering my advancement within the organization and advocating for that.

    1. Colette*

      Not everyone wants a promotion/advancement, particularly if it means moving from work they like to work they don’t like. Raises, sure, but those aren’t always a possibility.

  33. Madeleine Matilda*

    LW 2 – A well written letter to Jim with or without a gift card is a wonderful acknowledgement. By boss just did this and everyone who received a personal note was thrilled.

  34. Jennifer Strange*

    Am I imagining things, or was there another question recently that was similar to #1? Either way, OP I get why it may feel like you’re being put upon, especially with your wedding so close! But, you did kind of give notice when you created a situation in which you could no longer work for them (not saying you’re in the wrong for that, just that it is the reality of your situation).

    And though it may seem insensitive for them to post your job now and already start looking for a replacement, think of it this way: They are offering you six months of paid work during which you will have the opportunity to also get settled in your new state and start searching for a new job. They didn’t have to do that; they could have simply said your employment will end when you have completed your move. Are they really so wrong, then, to also want six months in which to interview for and hire your replacement (potentially with you still there to do some training)? This way both of you are making this a smooth transition for each party, even if the end result is not what you wanted (and it may not even be what they want but is more the best solution they can offer given the circumstances).

    I think someone else mentioned it elsewhere, but getting married is a qualifying event, so you are able to jump on to your husband’s insurance after the wedding! I would recommend he get the paperwork in order now so that he can submit it ASAP.

    1. LDN Layabout*

      I think there was one where OP had moved to a different state (3 hours away from their job) and were upset that their employer was taking this as a resignation after they’d told them that keeping their position remote might not work out long term.

      I feel like we’re going to be getting a lot of similar letters in the next few years.

        1. Forrest*

          I seem to remember it involved a cabin? LW had moved to their family’s cabin, they were all supposed to come back to the office, they asked to work remotely, and were shocked when this was treated as a resignation? But I can’t find it!

  35. agnes*

    Re the first letter: we are having some situations like this one too–people not understanding that employers have to meet various legal requirements in order to employ people who primarily reside in other states. I’m sorry you are finding out the hard way, but glad you wrote the letter because it might help other people avoid a similar problem. Good communication starts before decisions are made.

    1. Humble Schoolmarm*

      I haven’t seen this in action yet, but I’ve been wondering about situations like this. I live in a place that is in the middle of a major real estate boom because a lot of people decided to move here during the pandemic. The problem is, we’re a 2hr flight or 18 hr drive from the economic hot spots. I’m wondering what happens if their companies decide to go hybrid or don’t want them to continue working out of area for tax and other legal reasons.

  36. TPS reporter*

    Exactly. Let’s say you don’t know yet what your policy is on out of state. Just write that down and announce it widely- say we’re working out the details and in the meantime you have to inform us and get permission before working out of state. It’s really a very common misconception where people assume remote work gives them a lot of freedom. Not everyone is an AAM nerd!!

  37. I'm the Phoebe in Any Group*

    3, it would help to formally let everyone know that running by you is policy. In that annoumcement, or reminder, give them the logo and any other info or guidelines on what they should include. If you are worried about giving instructions to higher ups, remember that this is no different than finance telling people they need to submit receipts for all expenxes or must have prior approval for X.

  38. Junior Assistant Peon*

    LW1 – My suggestion is to make your parents’, sibling’s, etc house your legal residence, then just happen to spend all your time at your husband’s place. This kind of stuff goes on all the time anyway; you see young people well into their twenties still driving a car with out-of-state plates that’s still registered at the owner’s parents’ house even though they haven’t lived there in years. The company just needs your legal residence to be in their state; they don’t care where you’re sleeping.

    1. Aquawoman*

      Not sure any of that is actually legal. There are legal requirements for residency and for car titling.

      1. Colette*

        Yeah. And it’s a good way to get fired because you’re creating legal liabilities for the company.

      2. quill*

        Yeah, there’s a certain amount of time you theoretically have to get it switched over too.

        To be fair if you know you’re probably moving back in a year… you’re gonna want to check the law, but a lot of people who aren’t changing their license / plates / registry address are doing it because they’re not a full time resident – just in a different state during the school year.

        1. Cat Lover*

          College student status is different. In fact, it’s super hard to switch states to get in-state tuition, for example (if you aren’t originally from that state). Most students don’t have permanent residence to claim (dorm rooms, etc.)

          1. quill*

            Yeah, I brought up students because it’s a situation where someone could theoretically be driving around the same town that they live in 80% of the time with an out of state license plate for half a decade, and it’s actually totally legit.

            It goes a ways to explaining how people who know their residency is temporary might think that also applies to them, though it probably doesn’t.

    2. Mental Lentil*

      you see young people well into their twenties still driving a car with out-of-state plates that’s still registered at the owner’s parents’ house even though they haven’t lived there in years

      That’s probably because their parents still have the legal title to it.

      Honestly, this is terrible advice. I mean, a lot of other people also shoplift; that doesn’t make it okay. As others have pointed out, your company will probably fire you when they find out you are doing this, because you are putting them at terrible risk.

      1. Cat Lover*

        Yeah, cars are a bit different. With my previous car, I only got the title switched from my dad’s name to my name when I was 25-ish (it was my first car I had since 16).

      2. doreen*

        Maybe it’s because the parents have the title – but not necessarily. People drive around with out-of-state plates because the insurance is cheaper in the other state – and if my parents live in SC and I move to NY , I can keep renewing that registration and insurance at least until they move. I may however have a problem if I have a claim and the insurance company/state agency finds out I lied.

        1. quill*

          Or because your legal residence is your parents’ place while you’re spending 3/4 of the year at college / grad school…

    3. Student*

      This can lead to state tax fraud. If it does, then the person who gets in trouble with the tax authorities will be the letter-writer, not the company. If the work is state-regulated, or a state-related work law gets broken, then burden will fall entirely on the letter writer. This gives the company plausible deniability for any legal problems while putting all the legal risks and burdens on the letter-writer. It’s a terrible deal for the letter-writer, with lots of unnecessary risk for the sake of making paperwork easier on the company.

      If the company valued this letter-worker very highly, they’d do the paperwork to operate in the new state. They’ve done the cost-benefit analysis and decided the letter writer is not worth that effort. The letter-writer should look for a new job that won’t put them in legal jeopardy, not assume a lot of unnecessary legal and financial risks.

    4. Curious*

      Umm, you do realize that OP will, sooner or later, be required to declare their address on State tax forms. Do you really think that making false statements on tax forms is a good idea? Or that (due to, e.g., withholding) an inconsistency wouldn’t become a problem?

  39. Nails*

    I was a little surprised by the comments saying, “well, too bad, LW#1, you resigned, so suck it up and take the consequences.”

    LW stated that they “admitted that yes, [they] would likely be moving, pending [circumstances]” in what they may have believed to be a general discussion about their life direction, *in a conversational context where they probably thought their boss could advise on how to accomplish this plan*. This is not a “definitely, I am certainly moving”. And even that is certainly not an official, clearly articulated, formal resignation delivered in the proper channels. It is fairly janky that this company makes staffing decisions based on a staff member telling their line manager that they may, perhaps, make a decision in the future!

    What do they do if employees express a vague interest in career progression – “Oh, we’ve had to let you go, because we independently decided that you wouldn’t be working in this role in 6 months, so we thought we’d cut our losses and bring that forward.” Or if they don’t immediately disclaim any interest in starting a family when casually prompted about their future plans – “We’ll be taking you off payroll because your clear desire to get pregnant will mean you’re just going to leave anyway to pop out babies.” I’m sure there are companies that run like this, but it doesn’t seem like the efficient getting-ahead-of-problems approach that the first commenters seem to see.

    I mean, LW#1 was probably leaning in the direction of moving BECAUSE of their belief that it could easily be managed. LW#1 needed more information before making a large decision, and they probably believed they could get the information – but their boss prompted them, and then jumped the gun and presented it to senior leadership as a done deal.

    With the useful information that LW now has – they need to be in-state to keep this job – they might well have decided to stay close and keep the job. But the boss and senior leadership ran ahead with insufficient information, everyone except LW#1 has decided that LW#1 has resigned, it’s gotten weird, and now they’re heading for an avoidable outcome nobody particularly wanted. I really don’t see this as some kind of impressive, proactive management – and I can see perfectly well by LW#1 might be “bewildered” by it. A verbal admission to your boss that you’re wondering about moving to another state? How is that a resignation?

    1. Colette*

      The OP said she would likely be moving and she wanted to keep her job. I agree that that’s not precisely a resignation, but the boss isn’t out of line for looking into whether it is possible – and since it’s not, now the OP has to make some decisions. She can probably decide to stay, if that’s truly on the table – but she can’t decide to move and keep her job.

      1. londonedit*

        Yes – this wasn’t a ‘Well, we might be thinking about moving sometime in the next few years’, this was ‘I’m about to get married and will probably be moving a couple of months after the wedding’. The conversation where LW1 said they were looking into moving soon and wanted to keep their job, and the boss said they’d go to HR and discuss options, sounds like a fairly formal discussion to me – and I don’t think it’s unreasonable that when the boss discovered it wouldn’t be possible for LW1 to move to that state and keep their job, they set up a meeting with HR to discuss what the LW wanted to do. It’s also not unreasonable that ‘move but keep my job here’ isn’t an option if there are legal constraints and the company doesn’t operate in the state LW is moving to.

        1. tamarack and fireweed*

          I still think that if we’re still at “my fiancé and I are currently in the perspective of probably moving some time – months, at a minimum, maybe years” after the wedding then the new information input “… you couldn’t keep your job here if you move to a different state …” might very well put a spanner in the works. Don’t most people make moving decisions based on employment options at least in part?

    2. Forrest*

      I don’t think the company is necessarily wrong, but I would quite like to hear the boss’s side of this!

      It reminds me a lot of those cases where someone reports sexual harassment or something, thinking they can just ask for advice or that HR will have a “quiet word” with the offender, and then feels totally steamrollered to discover they’ve triggered a full investigation or something. So I wonder whether OP’s boss also thought that it was a case of, “OP wants it, and I agree, so I’ll just let HR know” and hadn’t realised all the bigger ramifications, or whether she did know but failed to communicate that to OP.

      I think there could probably have been a conversation somewhere between the first one and the big HR meeting to check whether OP’s move was definitely going ahead, or whether her intention to move was predicated on the belief she could keep her job.

    3. winter frog*

      I wonder if OP1’s boss could have sat down with her at some point and said, “I don’t know if you realize this, but we can’t have you be a full time WFH employee from X state because of XYZ legal reasons… If you move to X then we’d be forced to part ways. You’re a really valuable employee and we’d hate to lose you. Are you still committed to moving to X state? Do you want time to think about it?”

      1. Forrest*

        yeah, this is exactly my thinking. From OP’s point of view, it seems to have gone from what felt like a fairly safe and reassuring chat with her boss where they both wanted the same thing, to Serious HR Meeting With Options On The Table And A Deadline To Decide.

        I don’t think anyone did anything wrong, but if I was her boss I’d be reflecting on the fact that I hadn’t communicated the situation as clearly as I could have done, because she obviously wasn’t aware that the organisation saying no was an option and hadn’t given any thought to what she’d do in that situation.

      2. Jennifer Strange*

        It sounds like the manager didn’t realize that OP wouldn’t be able to continue working for them once she had moved until they talked to HR, and by then the cat was out of the bag.

        1. RabbitRabbit*

          This. The boss apparently did try to make it happen but couldn’t.

          And I’m sorry, but LW1 is getting married and moving in 2 short months to live with their future spouse, who presumably has a house/apartment in the other state as well as a job. The alternatives are pretty slim.

          – Spouse gets new job near LW1 and disposes of housing?
          – LW1 remains living apart from her spouse?

          One week’s notice to decide is pretty short, but there’s the wedding in the middle to also delay any kind of transition as well. The company probably feels under a short schedule as well due to needing to get a contracting agency in place to handle the out-of-state job effort.

    4. Mental Lentil*

      This is where LW made their mistake:

      I figured it wouldn’t be a problem since we’ve all been working remotely for over a year due to Covid.

      That’s a HUGE assumption. Working remotely when you are all in the same city is one thing; working remotely from an entirely different state is a fish of a different color.

      1. Clisby*

        +100. It would be a huge assumption to think you could continue working remotely indefinitely even in that same city. Your work could call you back anytime.

    5. Cat Lover*

      Hmmm, I disagree since OP said they are getting married in two weeks and will probably be moving in a couple of months. That’s… really soon? When did they *plan* on bringing it up? Never?

      LW’s boss really went to bat for her, it seems. I don’t think her boss did anything wrong- they talked to HR and discussed options.

  40. Daisy-dog*

    #1 – As someone who spends a substantial amount of time dealing with state tax issues for states where we have 1-2 employees, I totally get why your company does not want to do this.

    Also, recruiting in this market is rough. It is possible that it may take 6-8 weeks to find your replacement. They definitely need to post for your job now.

    I am very sorry that it isn’t working out the way that you wanted it to though. Don’t take it personally.

  41. hungryeyass*

    LW #1 It’s best not to show your cards before you’re ready to leave. When you told your boss your plans to move, you were essentially giving notice. I get that you did not see it that way and were caught off that your employer can not keep you remote from another state. But you really should have considered that possibility. If you want to leave your job on your own terms, you should always give notice as close as possible as to when you expect to leave.

    If it were me, when my boss asked me, I would have given some vague answer like “we haven’t made any plans yet, but I will let you know about what our living situation will be once I know.” Then when you were certain you were moving, and much closer to the moving date, I would have raised it at that point, but would have been prepared (i.e. have started looking for jobs by then) in case the answer was no.

    1. ceiswyn*

      The problem is, if the OP had done that they would have been asking the company to approve permanent remote working at virtually no notice. That would have blown all their goodwill and increased the chances of the answer being ‘no’ even if it could have been ‘yes’.

      What the OP really needed to do was research what implications changing state might have had. It was their assumption that there weren’t any that caused this.

      1. hungryeyass*

        On the flip side, if OP had notified their employer as soon as they knew they would be moving, their employer could have terminated them on the spot. Some companies will confiscate your badge and escort you to the door as soon as they know you’re leaving…due to confidentiality, trade secret, or other reasons. There was no guarantee that OP’s employer would have handled the situation as nicely or generously as they have.

        1. ceiswyn*

          Why would the employer terminate OP on the spot just for asking what the implications of a move out of state would be?

          OP didn’t want to leave – one reason they are is that they made some terribly wrong assumptions as a result of NOT talking to their employer before making some major, employment-affecting decisions.

          1. hungryeyass*

            “I admitted that yes, I would likely be moving a couple of months after I got married and that I wanted to keep my job.” – LW

            They didn’t ask what the implications would be… they confirmed that the move was likely going to happen. You’re framing this as if they had simply asked ahead of time instead of confirming that they are in fact leaving that the employer would have somehow treated this differently. The employer’s policy is clear, the LW cannot work from their intended new location.

            1. hungryeyass*

              I just want to add that I think I know what you’re trying to get at here…

              If the LW had inquired about the policy before making their DECISION TO MOVE, then this could have turned out differently. LW would have known that the employer won’t make an exception and could have weighed whether it was better for the spouse to move to LW’s location. But instead, LW made the decision to move before consulting with their employer and HOPED that the employer would go along with this. That’s just too risky for the reasons I outlined above.

              1. tamarack and fireweed*

                “I will likely be moving” implies that the decision to move hasn’t been made yet!

            2. ceiswyn*

              I’m not ‘framing this as if they had simply asked ahead of time’, I am saying that that is what they SHOULD have done.

              What they absolutely should not have done, as someone wanting to keep their job, is say nothing until the very last minute. How do you think that would go?

              1. hungryeyass*

                Who ever said anything about waiting until the last minute?? My original comment was dealing with the facts at hand. The LW stated that the decision had already been made to move. Not what you keep bringing up – that she should have consulted with her employer before making any decision on whether to move – I agree with that. But once she knew she was moving, she should have waited to speak with her employer until she had a backup plan, because at that point she was essentially giving notice and the employer could have terminated her sooner than she was prepared for (this does happen, please look it up). That is not necessarily last minute – she just needed to wait until she was prepared with a plan B knowing all the possibilities.

                **I won’t be checking this or replying any further. I think we’re just repeating ourselves at this point**

                1. ceiswyn*

                  Again, you’re arguing as if the OP knew they were essentially giving notice. They didn’t, and they had no intention of giving notice. They wanted to continue working for their employer – and your suggestion essentially removes that as a possibility.

                  If the OP had actually intended to give notice, then I would agree with you.

        2. MCMonkeyBean*

          Unless they had a particularly bad relationship with their boss, and it sounds here like their relationship is good and the boss would do a lot to keep them on, you don’t have to do a big official “I’m moving, what now?” You can bring it up as a possibility and ask how the company would respond so that you can factor that into your decision. You say your future spouse lives in another state and the two of you are still figuring out where you plan to settle, that you love your job and want to keep working there, and whether it would be possible to continue on remotely if you moved away or if you’d need to stay where you are.

          Or if you’re too worried about being pushed out, then you wait but fully expect that may mean you are effectively giving notice so you go ahead and start job searching in the meantime.

  42. Student*

    #4: Instead of trying to find a remote/online way to replicate what worked in the past for soliciting donations, maybe this is a chance to:

    (1) Try a different strategy. Instead of soliciting at work, try soliciting in your local community, wherever you physically are now. Is there a physical or online bulletin board in your area you could use? A place you & kid could set up a table, and you could supervise while working while the kid does the sales job?

    (2) Step back from fundraisers for a bit. Call a truce with the other local parents – y’all stop soliciting from each other and just focus on getting enough money yourselves for the activity that the fundraiser is for. If your kid is in it for the trinkets, talk to them about money and work – explain why the trinkets aren’t really worth the work they need to put in to get them. Or if they’re too young for that, just get them a substitute trinket for a tiny fraction of the price of the solicitation. Maybe have the kid do chores to “earn” the donation from you to cover the needed fundraiser funds.

    (3) Make it your kid’s problem. Let them fund-raise, but put the burden on them to come up with places to do it, an approach. You just provide whatever minimal supervision is necessary for them to try out their plan. Let them problem-solve this, and maybe even fail at it.

    1. Colette*

      Non-profits have fundraisers because they need funding. You seem to be looking at this as “fundraising for kid’s activities that you could otherwise pay for”, but that’s often not the case. As a Girl Guide leader, selling cookies lets us offer opportunities (such as camps) to kids who otherwise wouldn’t go. And there’s no reason to think that the kids aren’t also selling locally.

      People not being in the office has reduced the audience for passive selling. It’s not wrong to want to replicate that, as long as it’s an offer and not a demand.

  43. Just Another HR Pro*

    #1 – Your company may not have a business license in the state you are moving to. But That is still BS, because with a few exceptions they are not that hard to get. And in these COVID times, it would behoove them to do so. Especially for a good employee with longevity.

    We currently have the problem of people picking up and moving and not telling us, only to find out later they moved to a state where we didn’t have a license. So we got licenses in those states, because it is better than losing a good employee. Now them not telling anyone before they left is a bit of a pain, but you did.

    Anyway – that may be the explanation. But even if it is – thats crap.

    1. twocents*

      Please read the other comments here. It’s expensive for a company to set up in a new state. It’s not just one little license.

    2. Cat Lover*

      It’s very expensive and time consuming to set up business in a new state. No functioning company is going to do that for one employee.

    3. Mental Lentil*

      Yeah, getting a license is just one part. The company is also suddenly liable for all sort of tax obligations. This is not as easy at it would seem to people who have never actually done it.

      I live and work very close to the state border, and we don’t hire people from the adjacent state for precisely *waves hand at a lot of very complicated reasons*.

    4. Student*

      My husband works remotely for a company based out of California. They have to follow a lot of special California-specific employment rules. It’s not always a simple matter of just registering the business in a new state.

      Each state does their own thing and has their own rules, which can be very simple… or can be very complex. For my husband’s California-based employer, it is definitely not a simple matter – there’s specific trainings that he needs to take, regulations he needs to learn and follow, employment law matters (including taxes, rules about pay timelines and vacation time, etc.)…

    5. Observer*

      But That is still BS, because with a few exceptions they are not that hard to get

      Did you read any of the comments.

      It’s not just a business license. It’s taxes, and labor laws, and all sorts of compliance issues. There may be licensing involved as well.

    6. fhqwhgads*

      My company has remote employees in most, but not all, states. We’re open to hiring from all states though. HR requests that hiring managers give 60 days notice for a hire in a state we’re not yet set up in. So if someone applies, or someone you expect might be a finalist is in a new state, they need the heads up ASAP to get the ball rolling so that if that person is hired there isn’t a huge gap at the end before they can start. And we do this all the time, on the reg.
      It’s totally not crap or bullshit for the OP’s company – who it seems does not do this frequently and did not intend to do this right now – to decline to do this for one and only one employee.
      You are completely downplaying the complexity of the situation; by how much depends on exactly which states are involved.

    7. Aitch Arr*

      You may be an ‘HR Pro’ but you clearly don’t talk to your Finance and Legal Departments much.

  44. Observer*

    #1 – I’m probably repeating what others have said, but THIS is your big problem:

    but to post my job while I’m still working for them, though I’ve never given notice or even hinted I wanted to resign, makes it feel like I’m getting pushed out

    This is not true – You most definitely DID give them notice. You don’t need to use magic words – you just need to tell them that you are actually leaving. And you DID tell them that you are leaving. You told them that you are moving to a state where they cannot legally have employees. What else does that mean, if not “I’m leaving”?!

    They are actually trying quite hard to accommodate you. Sure, it’s coming from the purest self interest, but they are still handling it well. Yes, you’ll lose benefits if you don’t find a new job before you move. But at least you’ll have a salary, which will give you a buffer.

    If your financial planning was totally dependent on keeping this job AND benefits, you were going to be messed up anyway. Because your employer WOULD have found out about your move. And odds are that if they found out about it after you moved, when they had to mail out your tax documents or the like, you would have been fired with no notice.

  45. Urbanchic*

    LW1 – If you are interested in staying in a role, its safe to assume that any changes to locations, hours, etc. need to be pre-cleared by your employer. This seems obvious to a lot of us, but its clear from reading the comments that it’s not as apparent as it should be – sorry about that! You informed your employer that you were changing the terms of your employment, and the employer is saying those changes aren’t legally possible. Unless you aren’t moving, you are de-facto resigning. Are you per chance planning to take leave for your wedding? If so, that could explain the decision urgency. If your employer figures they only have 2 months until your departure, they need to start recruiting immediately to ensure business continuity. Waiting until after your wedding – which could be in 3-4 weeks, would give them only a few weeks to plan for the transition. If you aren’t definitely moving, tell your employer that you have re-considered your move and plan to remain in the state indefinitely. If you are definitely moving, the easiest thing to do is accept their offer. At this point, I would not try to push off a decision – you want to preserve your relationship with your boss, and refusing to decide will likely lead them to believe you are departing in two months, and may make you come across as either very naive or entitled. If I just stumbled on the fact that a key employee had made plans to change major circumstances of employment without flagging it to me, then upon going to bat for them with HR and securing a six month extension which would be an exception to the rule, the employee said I was pushing them out, and then refused to give a decision on said extension in a timely manner and said that they were getting the short end of the stick, I would assume you were departing in two months and plan accordingly (while being slightly annoyed). Best wishes in working this out!

  46. Eclecticism is a Virtue*

    LW #1, nexus for a business (legally defined presence in a state) is very much something your employer needs to stay aware of. If they do not have nexus in the state you are moving to, then as Alison stated, you legally cannot be their employee while living in that state. However, a staffing agency, as they offered, is an option, while independent contractor is another option. I wouldn’t get too excited over being a contractor right away though – you still lose any benefits and you are responsible for paying your income taxes on a quarterly basis. Plus most companies have it set up where you bill the employer with an invoice for your hours worked and then wait for them to pay the invoice (I was a contractor for a bit while in my current role). Many/most employers compensate for the taxes by paying extra (ie. pay you $28 per hour instead of your previous $24 per hour so they sort of pay the taxes). What if you brought up being a contractor as an option, though? That’s what my company does – if you move, you become a contractor. It gives us the freedom to move anywhere in the country while keeping our jobs, but the trade-off is being a contractor is definitely not as good as being a full employee.

    LW #4, my company uses Teams (or could be called, Slack by Microsoft) and we intentionally set up a channel from the start called #breakroom just for things like this. I think everyone is in the channel and is expected to stay but 1. in Teams you can customize the notifications and effectively mute the channel if you don’t care about it (like Slack, I believe) and 2. we do have semi-important announcements/information in there, like locations offering the vaccine in our city. But we also have a lot of memes, humor, etc. in there, too. Then again, our business culture is “we’re more concerned everyone gets the work done and does it correctly (within reason) than policing every little thing everyone does,” so a space set aside for socializing is not a big deal here.

    1. CmdrShepard*

      Legally you can’t take an employee and just turn them into a 1099 contractor just because you say so. Companies do this and get away with it, but legally they can’t do it. Especially if OP has already been working in that role for a while. Working for the staffing agency is likely the best option for right now. Honestly this works out best for all parties, OP has 6 months to job search in the new state, and give the company a chance to hire and train a replacement. It is not what OP hoped for but it is a pretty good deal.

    2. Observer*

      while independent contractor is another option.

      Nope. It’s not an option, legally speaking.

      Using 1099’s as a way to get around labor and tax law is a REALLY bad idea.

  47. iamthelola*

    LW#1 – I don’t know if this is possible (legally) but since you are fully remote and they don’t seem to mind that — have you considered maintaining an address in your existing state? I think you could do it with a PO Box, especially at a UPS store, because those give an actual street address instead of the PO#. If that’s the address on record for you as an employee, then you are still “living” in a state where they have employees, regardless of where your body and belongings actually are. Of course, if they ever needed you to come into the office, might be a bit difficult to accommodate, but it sounds like that doesn’t happen? I’d ask what would happen if you could maintain a physical address in the state you are in now, without addressing if you would actually be living there or not and see what they say. But I’d check it legally first to make sure you aren’t breaking any laws. I think this might be bending one but not breaking it — but I’m not a lawyer or an HR person, so I can’t say for sure. Just a thought.

    1. NewYork*

      No, she would not be “living” or from a tax standpoint residing in her current state. Is she going to pay tax in two states? Is he going to sign any w-2 or state equivalent documents with a phony address.

    2. Cat Lover*

      This is the second comment advocating for lying about where you live. Please, please, please don’t do this!

    3. Jennifer Strange*

      I am also not a lawyer, but I don’t think this is a good suggestion, and would just end up making the OP look sneaky if found out (which she likely would be).

    4. Mental Lentil*

      This is terrible advice. It basically amounts to lying, both to your employer, your insurance company, and the state and federal government.

      This will be found out eventually, and there will be repercussions. This is, actually, breaking the law.

      1. quill*

        It will be found out by next April. Come tax time you do not want ambiguities about your state of residence.

    5. Database Developer Dude*

      The only time this kind of approach is anything near okay is when you’re job searching in the destination state and maintaining an address there, have full intentions of moving there, but haven’t moved yet. And then you follow through.

      So if OP were getting married, and following her fiancee from Massachusetts to Florida, she could choose to maintain an address in Florida for job searching purposes, that way she’d be considered.

    6. Canadian Yankee*

      There’s a simple word for this arrangement: “fraud”. If you are resident in a state, you (and your employer) must pay employment taxes to that state. Failure to do so is tax fraud and in most states, residency tax fraud is a felony.

    7. fhqwhgads*

      Labor laws are based on where the work is done, not just the primary address of the employee. You’d think in most cases a remote employee would be working from their own address, but your suggestion is not viable. You’re basically saying “lie”.

  48. Esmeralda*

    OP #4: Please, do not engineer some way to allow employees to solicit for contributions, no matter how worthy or delicious (thin mints!) the cause.

    If there’s an official created by the employer slack channel, even if you say, it’s optional! no one has to look at it! — believe me, people are going to feel obliged to look at it. Not the same as a flyer or cookie order form pinned to a cubicle that I can pretend I didn’t see as I walked by.

    Just, let solicitations at the office die a well-deserved death. Or go moribund until your office can safely be back in the office.

    1. I'm just here for the cats*

      I disagree. I think a slack or teams channel is less obtrusive than a signup sheet. I presume that the person would just say, email me if you want cookies, whereas with the signup sheets everyone would see who is and isn’t buying things. In my experience, I always felt pressured to at least look at the book if it was in the break room or being passed around the office.
      And Isnt there a way you can mute notifications in slack or not subscribe to a certain thread? I know in Teams we have a fun stuff chat and if you don’t want to participate you can turn off notifications.

      1. CoveredInBees*

        Yeah. Especially if they already have a lot of non-work channels. It’s not like everyone is signing up for the “Doggos” or “Toddler Time” channels (both real channels at work for dog lovers and toddler parents). This is just another option.

  49. I'm just here for the cats*

    No, you are not being pushed out. Your employer cannot have you working in another state and you are moving. They are preparing the best they can for your departure.

    What did you expect your company to do when you moved? It sounds like you were not going to tell them since your boss was the one who brought it up. If they cannot legally have you working in that state they have no choice. I understand that it’s frustrating to now be out of a job and have to search, but its the reality of the situation. And frankly, it sounds like your company is going beyond what they need to do, since they are keeping you on through a staffing agency for 6 months.

    1. Hiring Mgr*

      They CAN have her legally working in another state – it’s just for that one reason or another they’ve chosen not to.

      1. CTT*

        The legal and tax implications of employing people in another state are not something that can be dismissed as “one reason or another.”

      2. I'm just here for the cats*

        We don’t know the reasoning behind why they are choosing not to. They may have looked at it and decided it is not cost effective to have 1 employee in another state. Especially if the state has much different tax and other stuff (workers comp, OT regulations, etc). It may be that they looked at it and they can’t because it would be too expensive, too much of a hassle (It might cause issues with payroll having to process her checks differently than everyone else). They may be too small of a company to be reasonably be able to do this.

      3. Colette*

        She CAN decide to stay in the state she’s currently in – it’s just that for one reason or another she’s chosen not to.

        Yes, they could set themselves up to have an employee in another state. That’s non-trivial, but they could do it – but they’ve chosen not to for their own reasons, just like she’s chosen to move for hers.

      4. Hiring Mgr*

        Yes, I didn’t mean to imply that it was frivolous or easy, just that it’s possible. I’ve been that first guy in a new state before, it can get done if there are good business reasons.

        1. Observer*

          Not always. It’s not common, but there are some situations where it’s actually not possible. Someone mentioned one situation where ownership qualifications can make a set up that’s fine in one state illegal in another.

          1. Hiring Mgr*

            Oh yes I’m sure that’s true.. in the end, i do sympathize with the LW but it seems like it’s a done deal at this point.

  50. TryingHard*

    Please do not decide to fake your address by borrowing one from someone you know in state. I saw that go down and the person was found out eventually and the house of cards came down like a ton of bricks. Person was fired as was the friend (they used the friend’s parents address). Both burnt major bridges and are shunned at industry events. Not worth it.

      1. Paz*

        And they pay fees related to that every year, and then they have to qualify in the state where they are physically located/have employees. There are costs associated with all of this that are (hopefully) carefully thought out by companies.

  51. Tinker*

    LW1 –

    Bit surprised at the folks who think both that LW should not have been surprised that the company would start offboarding them when they stated they had plans to move in two months, and that LW was acting unreasonably by not mentioning the move until ‘only’ two months before they planned to do it.

    If LW should have expected to be offboarded when they mentioned the move, the default practice for handling that is to not say anything until one is actually prepared to give notice — two weeks before the planned end date unless the emplpyer has a track record of frog-marching, in which case same-day notice is a potential option. Starting the discussion two months before regarding a decision that is less final than a resignation that is open to counteroffers is a privilege, not a right.

    1. CmdrShepard*

      But that is not the real issue here, the issue is OP just decided on their own without talking to the company that they would move to a new state and keep working for the company. This is like if I decided that I was no longer going to work full time and was going to become a part-time employee but I waited to tell the company, and just expected them to be okay with it.

      If OP was actually planning on quitting then you would be right, but their plan was to keep working in their new state.

      Even if the company was willing to and allowed OP to work in the new state, two months is not enough time for the company to properly get everything in place in the new state. The company would need to get licensed, set up workers comp insurance, unemployment taxes, and a ton of other issues, it would take longer than two months. So either way you try to slice is OP messed up.

      1. GNG*

        This is like if I decided that I was no longer going to work full time and was going to become a part-time employee but I waited to tell the company, and just expected them to be okay with it.

        This is a good analogy. Unfortunately, lots of people do hold this mistaken belief, and they are shocked when they find out it’s an issue with their employer.

    2. Daisy-dog*

      LW was not giving notice of leaving. LW was intending to change the circumstances of their employment without permission. The delivery of this news was not great, but there is nothing that can be done differently unless LW is not moving to that state.

    3. Tali*

      If OP wanted to leave, then yeah, giving 2 weeks’ notice would be fine. But OP didn’t want to give notice, and is surprised that they accidentally gave notice, that is the problem here.

  52. Loolooloo*

    Does anyone else feel super uncomfortable with fundraising in the workplace to begin with? There’s so much pressure to purchase frozen crap you don’t want from your boss, contribute to a charity you don’t know anything about, etc… And if it’s girl or boy scouts, where the whole point is to teach kids confidence and business skills, why are mom and dad doing all the work? I’d rather buy from the kids directly, since that’s the whole goal of the program.

    I feel like this is especially true when there are power dynamics at play- there are always workplace hierarchies, and people lower on the hierarchy (and earning less money) can feel pressured to participate.

    1. quill*

      My experience in girl scouts is that it doesn’t really teach business skills or confidence – it teaches you that some kids have access to a lot of people willing to fork money over and some kids don’t. Especially since by the time most kids are of an age to take on the responsibility and logistics of selling door to door, writing down orders, etc, they’ve left scouts. It probably worked better when there were more tween scouts but when I was a scout (20 years ago, so probably it’s different today) we had a huge drop off in numbers after grade 3/age 9. And the fact that we’ve got kindergarteners taking scout cookie orders normalizes the idea that the parents are really doing all the work.

      1. Loolooloo*

        Hahaha- yep. I think girl scouts was my first lesson in life where I learned that the hardest workers don’t always come out ahead/the sheer power of connections when it came to being successful in business- it was the kids with wealthy parents in corporate offices who could leave a sign-up sheet there that always won the top prizes, no matter how many hours I pounded out on the pavement.

    2. Nanani*

      The ones for kids are especially egregious because I’m quite confident in saying that every troupe has some kids who ARE doing it all themselves, perhaps because their parents don’t work in an office where this is done or weren’t in this troupe culture as kids or something like that.
      Then KidWithManagerParent gets the biggest sales and whatever prize or praise come with it. Tale as old as time.

      1. Loolooloo*

        This was 100% my experience in girl scouts. I remember begging my parents to take my cookie order form to work, and they wouldn’t/couldn’t. Meanwhile, the children of managers in my troop always won and would tell me their mom or dad just took the order to work.

    3. fhqwhgads*

      I’m super uncomfortable with it, which is why I’m glad the last three places I’ve worked all specifically do not allow it.

    4. Drago Cucina*

      And a lot of guidelines discourage the old fashioned door-to-door selling. When my son played baseball the instructions were to ask family and friends to by candy bars. Well, all our family lived multiple states away. Almost every other child in the neighborhood was also selling candy at the same time.

      My husband used to complain about people bringing in their kids candy and popcorn to sell. Until we hit the reality ourselves. We also had friends who had 4 boys all in the same baseball league. My husband took their candy bars, put them in the OR break room with a donation can, and he “sold” them in two days. No, those boys didn’t learn salesmanship, but the reality was their available market was basically zero.

  53. Database Developer Dude*

    I’m going to assume that LW1 is moving to another state that’s a considerable distance from her original location. I live in the metropolitan Washington DC area, and moving back and forth between MD/DC/VA/WV, and even close-in PA wouldn’t be a problem for most of the firms around here.

    Yeah, it’s a business decision, but that doesn’t mean it sucks any less. It just means there’s a rational excuse for the company to do what they did. They’re not the bad guy, the laws and lawmakers are, because they specify the person working from home as having their home as the location where the work is performed.

  54. knxvil*

    Chiming in on LW1’s situation to share my own: Even law firms (and I mean BigLaw–1,500+ attorneys/staff) haven’t fully grasped–or documented–their plans for how to handle employees located in states with no business nexus. My employer brags about the “depth and breadth” of its employment law practice on the regular and boldly proclaimed a “50-state plan” was in the works late last year that would mean being able to work anywhere in the U.S., pending management approval. Since then, bupkis.

    I’ve been fully remote since March 2020, but for a few months in office last summer when restrictions were briefly lifted in my old city. I made a conscious choice to move to a state with no business nexus (I’m looking for a new job and wanted to be local so I’m not passed over) and told my direct manager–and her manager as well–about the move itself 90 days in advance. Manager’s manager actually suggested the fake address/PO Box route mentioned several times above, to which I gave a hard no. Moving day came and went, and I waited until I was fully settled, then decided to go ahead and change my address in Workday. A full week passed with no acknowledgment, and then I received a series of emails from an HR associate asking if my move was “permanent.” I interpreted this as HR dancing around the issue and giving people a pass on working out-of-nexus if they answered “no, this is just temporary.” I answered truthfully with “yes, it’s permanent,” and got another week of silence.

    Eventually, my manager’s manager called me to say that the HR manager–the top person underneath the firm’s “Chief People Officer”–had contacted him about my address change. He said he told her that he knew about it already and I was approved to be fully remote. The HR manager has never contacted me directly to discuss the situation, nor have I been contacted about being made a contractor, which I know was done in pre-pandemic times for out-of-nexus moves. It’s a different situation because I don’t want to keep this job in the long run, but at the same time, I find HR’s silence unsettling.

    While waiting for the other shoe to drop, I decided to take advantage of an awkward “perk” our firm’s Chief Marketing Officer began in 2021, in the form of individual “birthday/get-to-know you” video calls. About 10 minutes into my call, we were already talking about moving and how much of a pain it can be (the CMO had moved long-distance to take the job in the first place), so I added, “and I just moved to [out-of-nexus state] and haven’t heard anything from [HR manager], so what’s up with that? Is she talking about me?” The CMO blinked, then said she hadn’t heard anything about it, asked me some basic tax questions (I’m in a state with no income tax and the firm’s HQ is in another state with no income tax, which is interesting), said my state wasn’t approved “yet,” and closed with, “Well, we certainly aren’t trying to fire you.” So, I rolled the dice, took it all the way to the top of my group and… *shrugs*

    My address change is still “pending” in Workday, so now I wonder if the firm is keeping out-of-nexus addresses off the books until the forthcoming “hybrid transition period” launches, which is when they plan to announce who can stay fully remote and who has to come back (on top of all the vaccine requirement drama). Hopefully I’ll get my vacation payout and be settled into a new job by then, but for now I’m sitting here with my popcorn, waiting.

  55. YoungTen*

    Op1, congratulations on your upcoming nuptials! I hope your day goes smoothly and that you put work related issues to the side in the days leading up. Listen, I know what your feeling work wise is tough. But if you could try to see it from their side, you’d see that while the company values you, they are going to lose you because of state restrictions. It’s completely possible for a company to care deeply for its employees yet still have to make decisions that’s best for the company as a whole. They are many stakeholders in an organization and executive team has to consider them all. I truly hope you can find something you love where you’re going.

  56. zutara*

    LW1, the compromise they offered you is actually pretty generous. I had been with my company for a decade (most of the time remote) and even then I phrased my moving plans as, “The real estate market has been tough here. If I were to broaden my search to the neighboring state, could I still work form there remotely?” The thing is, even though my company already had multiple physical offices in the neighboring state, they were no longer letting people move states and keep their jobs unless there was a *business reason* for that role to be done from the new state. I ended up moving out of state but waiting until after my closing date to give notice. I wish my company had been willing to offer the same kind of flexibility yours has.

  57. Commander*

    #3 “I’m a woman, if it matters– HAHAHAHA of course it matters.”

    As a woman…who does not have the issues you are having, I don’t apprecite this kind of stuff. I work in a field that is 80%-90% male, and while gender differences have occasionally been an issue, I have never had a problem with someone listening to a command.

    Put on your big girl pants and stop internalizing some faux weakness…

    1. CoveredInBees*

      This is a bizarre response. You haven’t had the same experience as the letter writer, therefore her perception of it is invalid? Endless research has shown that women and men are perceived differently when in charge. So perhaps instead of writing such a ridiculous post, you should be out buying lotto tickets for being so super-duper special.

    2. Jennifer Strange*

      I’ve never been struck by lightning. Doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen to others.

    3. MCMonkeyBean*

      Wow what a garbage comment.

      How lovely for you that you have never had to deal with this issue, but your experience is far from universal.

  58. Dorothea Vincy*

    Sorry to hear that, LW1! But I think another reason the company is moving like this is because the timeframe does sound pretty short, for both wedding and move, and they’ll have to move fast no matter what they wanted to do. Even if they were able to keep you working remotely in another state, they’d probably have to scramble to get everything set up with this short a lead time. From their side, it makes absolute sense to post the job and start looking for the replacement now. I’d try to accept that this is reality and, as other people have said, that you have six months to look around in another state.

    (And for everyone saying it would help to announce the policies, ha-ha. My employer approved some out-of-state remote working arrangements during the pandemic, mostly for people who had spouses already living in other states where we had a presence and had moved to join them after we went remote for what we were told would be at least a year. They also announced at the start of 2021 that, come June 30th, they would not be approving any new permanently-remote arrangements like this, even if we did have a presence in that other state, since 90% of us are returning to hybrid in September. They announced this on the website and sent an email about it at least once a week. And there are now several people shocked and outraged that they were given “no notice” about how, yeah, you can’t sell your house here in two months and move across the country and still keep your job).

  59. CoveredInBees*

    OP5, thank you for sharing. A few months ago, I applied for a job where I was super qualified. Like I could point to experience with every element they were looking for. Since then…nothing. I have wondered if someone who actually worked in the department realized they needed something slightly different because the posting kinda read like two part-time roles slapped together. Both in the same department but doing rather different things and one very entry level and one needing a fair amount of experience. I would have been fine with this split, but I had planned on asking about it if interviewed.

  60. RJ*

    #3 — “Thanks for offering to look at it” gives me shivers. I heard some variation of that about eight million times when I managed communications.

    Here is a lie I did: I sent out a mass email explaining that people needed to do XYZ when they wanted to release communications, but I framed it as though people had been asking me about it behind the scenes and it occurred to me that other people might have the same question — so my email was meant to be HELPFUL. I also framed it as though the imaginary people who asked about the communications policy were being overly cautious and assuming they needed to do ABC in addition to XYZ, so that I could let everyone know the good news that it was only XYZ after all!

    I got to tell everyone what they were supposed to do without directly confronting them about the fact that they weren’t doing it, and I also made some of them believe that their peers were already doing the right thing.

  61. Erin*

    Man, I could go for a box of Samoas right now! I love the self-imposed cookie tax that another commenter posted. I haven’t bought Girl Scout Cookies in a while, but, I think this might be my year! With the 50% self imposed tax! I’m wild!!

Comments are closed.