Can a recruiter reject a candidate due to the candidate requiring relocation?

December 14, 2016
Can Recruiters Reject Candidates that Require Relocation?

The short answer is yes. There are not any U.S. federal laws preventing a recruiter from rejecting a candidate due to the fact that they live too far away and/or relocation would be required. Although the recruiter may not always cite this as the reason, when an applicant is clearly qualified yet gets rejected and happens to reside in a different city, state, or country, distance could a reason for rejection.


That said, automatically removing resumes from the list of potential candidates based on relocation requirements may not always be in a company's best interest. You never know if an ideal candidate could be sitting somewhere in the ‘instant' rejection pile just because they happen to live far away.

In addition, just because relocation may be required for the right candidate, it does not necessarily mean that the recruiter must pay for all the expenses involved. That would be at the company's discretion, as each case could be different. Still, you should keep in mind that a business might be able to find some potential tax benefits for paying moving expenditures.

Additional Info

There are actually several federal laws that prohibit different types of discrimination in the workplace, yet currently there aren't any laws specifically regarding rejection of job applicants due to relocation.


While there are many laws protecting job applicants, none point directly to the issue of rejection due to required relocation. It's up to each employer to decide if they will or will not consider long distance candidates for job opportunities at their company.

Helpful link:

IRS information Regarding Moving Expense Reimbursement (for Company)

This communication is for informational purposes only; it is not legal, tax or accounting advice; and is not an offer to sell, buy or procure insurance.

This post may contain hyperlinks to websites operated by parties other than TriNet. Such hyperlinks are provided for reference only. TriNet does not control such web sites and is not responsible for their content. Inclusion of such hyperlinks on does not necessarily imply any endorsement of the material on such websites or association with their operators.

Additional Articles
ESAC Accreditation
We comply with all ESAC standards and maintain ESAC accreditation since 1995.
Certified PEO
A TriNet subsidiary is classified as a Certified Professional Employer Organization by the IRS.