Can a Job Suspend You Without Pay?
Though it is not typical, employers may suspend an employee without pay in some circumstances. Despite the uncommon nature of unpaid suspensions, it is important for employees to understand the reasons an employer may choose to suspend someone without pay and the rights the employee has if it happens.
Reasons for Unpaid Suspension
There are a few reasons an employer may choose to suspend an employee without pay. These may include:
- Suspected Violation of Employer Policy: An employer may suspend an employee without pay if they suspect a violation of company policy and need to investigate further.
- Unreliable: An employer may suspend an employee without pay if they find their conduct to be unreliable. For instance, an employee with a history of chronic lateness or tardiness or sporadic absences may be suspended without pay.
- Gross Misconduct: An employer may suspend an employee without pay in cases involving gross misconduct or an illegal activity.
Employee Rights During Unpaid Suspension
It is important for employees to understand their rights if faced with an unpaid suspension. The employee is generally entitled to reasonable notice of the suspension and to know why it is taking place. Furthermore, the employee has a right to seek legal advice and to know their rights in the matter. The employee is not obligated to participate in any investigation or any disciplinary hearing unless given reasonable notice and the opportunity to respond.
It is important to note that some employers will include a clause in their employee handbook that allows for unpaid suspensions. If this is the case, it is important for employees to familiarize themselves with this clause before entering into the contract.
Unpaid suspensions are not typically seen in the workplace, they are rare and usually involve circumstances involving gross misconduct or illegal activities. However, if an employee is faced with an unpaid suspension, they should familiarize themselves with their rights and be aware of the potential reasons why it may take place.