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TL;DR The company told me I have to work in country B for two months, then put me in country A, but when I finished the two months, I was told I need to work an additional four still in B. We did not define the exact schedule in contract or other written agreement. What are logical and ethical options when HR intentionally hide or give inaccurate information prior to signing contract? Should I use quitting the job as leverage to getting compensations?


Update There is a comment mentioning that I could use written agreements as legal evidence. When I asked for clarification on how this detour to country B is going to work, I did receive an email that says, "After training, we will move you. There will be some waiting period" (slightly paraphrased). I asked for further clarification on the waiting period, this time verbally, and was referred to internal processing time and visa application time, but nothing like "you have to wait for our regular transfer session that only happen a couple of times a year," which is the response I get now. This next regular session is four months away (before which they will do nothing, not preparing for paperwork or anything).

So while I do have some written response, in email, it is somewhat vaguely defined. IANAL, so I don't know whether it is legally sound. And I'll probably "suck it up" or quit and not go the legal route event if it is anyway.

Update 2 We do have a channel that we can report random issues to the higher-ups. Although I do not really expect to see response from them of any kind, I guess I'll still write a complaint and see what happens first. (I've already tried the HR department directly, which has been extremely to get hold of.)


I recently got hired at a global company with offices in country A and B, with A being my desired location. The company requested me to go through training in country B, after which the company will start the transfer process including apply for Visa for country A, while there may be some waiting period.

To be sure that I have the correct expectation about the arrangement and the vaguely defined "waiting period", I then asked about how long I have to wait and whether they want to keep me at country B for additional work after the training period. In the reply, the HR cited the length of the training period (a couple of months), explained getting a VISA for country A can take a variable length of time, and that they will start visa application after training, but they cannot give an exact time for above reasons; while waiting for the visa, obviously I will need to work on something.

I felt the answer is reasonable and agreed to the arrangement. However, when I arrived in country B and completed training, I was told that I will need to wait for another four months because they move people between location A and B only in regular intervals. While I do not have proof, I suspect the HR person has known about the transfer schedule and decided to hide this information from me.

I understand that the company is not obligated to anything; after all, I did not request that any of this to be in the contract or other forms of written agreement. But still, I feel I have not been properly treated and my contact intentionally led me to believe I will spend a much shorter time in country B. When asked they declined to provide any support over the unexpected and extended stay.

I am now wondering how I should respond to this. Should I send in a complaint anywhere? The manager, whom I report my daily duties to, do not manage these issues. And some of my conversations with the HR is on the phone, so I have written record only for some but not all exchanges.

Would it be unethical to think about quitting the company over this? If it is not, should I use this as a leverage to ask for compensation over the inconveniences? And if I end up quitting, what should I explain to my next employer?

I have an otherwise neutral opinion about this job and do not mind having to start over again.

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    Do you know how long the visa process takes normally? How much time did you "lose" by their four-months-plan? I can easily see countries where you'd spend months waiting for the visa formalities to clear. What were your expectations concerning the visa timetable? – nvoigt May 23 '17 at 7:35
  • Am I correct in the assumption that the most important thing for you, is to go to country A? – Jonas Praem May 23 '17 at 7:38
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    @nvoigt They are not even starting the visa application before this 4 months ends, so I'm losing at least 4 months and all the trouble from extending a 2-month stay to 6 (i.e. arranging short-term vs long-term stay). The normal clearance time is around 1 month, or up to 3 month in some cases. I of course won't blame them for anything they don't control. – user8051393 May 23 '17 at 7:50
  • @JonasPraem Yes, your assumption is correct. But for the delay, I am debating maybe it is worth it to start again: I moved to country B from another country C just for the job and quitting and go back to my home poses some advantage in itself. – user8051393 May 23 '17 at 7:55
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    In some countries, it would be a viable legal argument to say, I accepted the job because of the attached written promise that the visa application would be made upon completion of the training. Now you are telling me you are not going to honor that promise." But also, if someone tells me they are going to start a time-consuming visa application at the end of a two-month class, I would immediately ask, "Why are you not starting it now, so that the visa will be almost ready when the class ends?" – WGroleau May 23 '17 at 10:52
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There's a lot to unpack here.

The bottom line, in my opinion, is that it's not stated in your contract whether or not you'll be in one country or the other.

You may be able to convince your manager / others to allow you to transfer to the other country, but I believe at the end of the day it will be up to them.

You could complain internally. Some people would be concerned about whether complaining about this would paint them in a negative light, but that's a consideration that each person has to make for themselves.

You could also complain about this externally - on one of the many 'review' websites (example GlassDoor) where people share experiences with a company.

Moving forward, I would recommend vetting a company a bit more thoroughly, and definitely checking any online reviews by employees before accepting an offer.

Definitely, in the future, get any kind of agreement that you'll be relocating or transferring to another location / country in writing, and in as specific detail as possible. Don't be afraid to ask for adjustments to be made to your offer if they get a detail wrong initially: This is important, and it needs to be done right if it's something you're both agreeing to.

Would it be unethical to think about quitting the company over this?

Absolutely not.

You can leave an employer for nearly any reason you choose.

A variety of different things can contribute to a work engagement not being a 'good fit'.

If it is not, should I use this as a leverage to ask for compensation over the inconveniences?

You could.

Whether or not they'll be willing to work with you here is anyone's guess.

I can say the chances of you getting a salary increase are low. You're not bringing any additional 'value' to the company simply by living in a different area. Unless people in that position in that area are making significantly more than the average in the other country, you may not see a salary change as a result of this, even if you ask for one.

You may be able to persuade them to give you a sum of money for relocating to the other country for what was a longer period of time than you expected. This is a common practice and is generally a part of the compensation package / offer letter, if provided.

If you didn't have this as part of yours, it may be possible that you could attempt to negotiate for it and ask for a relocation fee for moving to this other country, but whether or not you'll get it is still up to chance.

And if I end up quitting, what should I explain to my next employer?

The simplest description of what happened would be the following: This position at this company was not a good fit.

The interviewer may ask for some specific details, in which you could elaborate in any number of ways. I would suggest a fairly vague response, because you don't want to appear to be bad-mouthing your previous employer to the interviewer.

Example: "There was a miscommunication about the details of the position, and once it was clarified, I determined that the position was not a good fit for me."

Generally the interviewer is looking for any red flags about your previous work history when this is asked. Keep your cool and calmly explain it this way, and they'll move right past the matter.

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