Question: Does an employer have the right to set a living restriction on employees, and grant exemptions to some but not to all?

Kirk
Victoria, British Columbia

Answer: The simple answer is “Yes.” Employers are free to require various conditions to employment, such as where an employee can live, and to grant exemptions to some employees, and not to others, PROVIDED the exemptions are not granted in a way that violates laws regarding illegal discrimination. For example, it would not be permitted to grant exemptions only to females, or only to those of Asian ancestry. For example, for many years New York City has required that its police live within the city limits; for those who could show true hardships as a result of this policy, exemptions have been granted. So long as an employer does not violate the law in granting exemptions, this practice is legal.

Best, Al Sklover

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