Can Employers Limit Which States Their Remote Employees Work In?

As remote work becomes an increasingly accepted norm in the wake of global shifts towards digitalized workplaces, employers are faced with a myriad of new considerations. One question that has emerged is, “Can Employers Limit Which States Their Remote Employees Work In?”

The Short Answer: Yes, But It’s Complicated

The straightforward answer is yes—you can determine work locations for your remote employees and choose not to employ anyone in specific states. But the devil is in the details. Several factors, such as business and operational costs, as well as varying state or local employment laws, can affect this decision. Let’s delve deeper into these aspects to better understand what employers should consider.

Factors to Consider When Determining Work Locations

Business and Operational Costs

Having employees spread across multiple states may sound like an ideal way to diversify, but it comes with its own set of challenges. Different states have varying tax laws and reporting requirements that your payroll department needs to adhere to. Each additional state where you have an employee might require separate state tax filings, unemployment insurance, and more, leading to additional costs and complexity.

Legal Considerations

It’s not just about taxes; each state has its own employment laws, which can affect how you conduct business. This includes regulations on working conditions, minimum wage, overtime, and even non-compete clauses. Failure to comply can result in legal action and fines.

Employee Benefits

Some states have specific mandates concerning employee benefits, which may differ significantly from federal laws. This includes health insurance, retirement plans, and paid time off. Employers need to keep these mandates in mind when offering benefit packages to employees in different states.

Company Culture and Communication

With remote work, there is less face-to-face interaction, which can make it challenging to maintain a cohesive company culture. Factor in time zone differences if your remote employees are spread across various states, and coordination becomes more complicated. Therefore, some companies prefer to limit the states where remote work is allowed to maintain a coherent work environment.

Transparency and Communication

Job Postings

If you decide to limit which states your remote employees can work in, the first step is to be transparent about it in your job postings. This helps streamline the recruiting process and reduces the number of applications from locations where you do not intend to hire.

Existing Employees

Current employees should be made aware of any geographic restrictions on remote work, preferably well in advance. Whether through company memos, team meetings, or updating the employee handbook, communication is key.


So to answer the question, “Can Employers Limit Which States Their Remote Employees Work In?”. While it is entirely possible to limit where your remote employees can be located, it’s crucial to consider various aspects before making such a decision. Think about operational costs, state-specific laws, employee benefits, and the impact on company culture. Once you’ve weighed these factors, make sure to communicate your policy clearly, both to prospective hires and current employees. In an ever-evolving work landscape, the ability to adapt and make informed decisions is more valuable than ever. Have additional questions? Contact us and we’ll be happy to help.