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Why Don't Remote Companies Hire Military Spouses in All States?

(Photo: Stock image.)
(Photo: Stock image.)

Dear Career,

I keep seeing posts about remote jobs for military spouses, and it's awesome that the companies are starting to offer these positions.

But every time I go to apply to one, they never seem to be offered in my state. What gives? If the position is truly remote, why does it matter where I live?

-- Remote in Rhode Island

Dear Remote,

I understand your frustration. I know that remote positions are highly desirable for many reasons in the military spouse space. I, too, have been excited to see companies posting more opportunities that work this way.

To find out what gives on the state restrictions, I went back to a couple of our Hiring Our Heroes Foundation corporate partners who offer these positions to see if they can shed some light. Both Amazon and Hilton have huge programs dedicated to hiring military spouses remotely, but both are limited to specific states.

Here is what I learned after talking to reps from both organizations: The reason they aren't offered everywhere is either a training issue or a legal one.

At Hilton, employees initially had to live within an hour of one of their major call centers because they required new hires to undergo a five-week training course. After recognizing the untapped talent pool of military spouses outside those areas, the company expanded the opportunities by first sending an onsite trainer to new locations and eventually creating a virtual training platform, they told me. Even with that virtual training, however, the program is still available only in 29 states.

Both Amazon and Hilton indicated that further restrictions boil down to differences in state laws. Some of the differences are about where the businesses are allowed to do business; others are based on specific state labor laws that don't line up with the programs being offered. Our conversations didn't dig deep into the specifics of those laws, but perhaps I'll cover that further in another column.

While these aren't all of the details, you can be sure that the companies didn't determine the states arbitrarily. And it certainly doesn't mean they don't want to offer positions in the states they don't currently work in. Your best bet is to stay tuned and see if more positions become available or if another company is able to offer jobs in your state.

-- Career

-- Have a spouse career question to submit? Email us at DearCareer@Military.com.

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