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Joseph
Joseph, Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 4868
Experience:  Extensive experience representing employees and management
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Suspended without Pay pending Investigation Can you be place

Customer Question

Suspended without Pay pending Investigation

Can you be place on a Suspended pending Investigation, if the company doesn't have a policy for such action and none of the employees have signed anything for such action???
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: California Employment Law
Expert:  Joseph replied 9 months ago.
Hello,

I'm sorry to hear about your situation and hope I can help.

My name isXXXXX am a licensed attorney, and my goal is to provide you with excellent service today.

I need a bit more information from you before I can proceed to provide you with a complete and thorough answer to your question.

Can you tell me where the information regarding the 3 day discipline policy listed? Does this state that you can only be suspended without pay for 3 days?

Customer: replied 9 months ago.

No, this is in the union contract.


 


Disciplinary action shall be taken upon employee within three (3)
working days of the date of the alleged violation, or the date the violation came to CPC's attention.


 


There is no company policy for Suspended pending Investigation, this something new they have started doing.

Expert:  Joseph replied 9 months ago.
Hello Willie,

Thanks for the additional information.

I'll look into this and get back to you shortly.
Customer: replied 9 months ago.

Okay thanks. This might help. An employee (truck driver) was fired for have three minor accidents in one year. He was first put on a Suspension pending Investigation for five days with no pay, then fired after that. this was six days after the accident.


 


Company doesn't have a policy for such action and none of the employees have signed anything for such action.


 


In our union contract is states: Disciplinary action shall be taken upon employee within three (3)
working days of the date of the alleged violation, or the date the violation came to CPC's attention.


 


I believe the company is in the wrong for firing the employee. I am the shop steward for the drivers and loaders.

Expert:  Joseph replied 9 months ago.
Hello Willie,

Thanks for the additional background information.
Customer: replied 9 months ago.

Okay

Expert:  Joseph replied 9 months ago.
Thanks; still looking into it.
Expert:  Joseph replied 9 months ago.
Hello Willie,

The company definitely would be in violation of the policy requiring that they make decisions regarding discipline within three days of an alleged violation or discovering the violation.

However, since the ultimate decision was to terminate the employee after five days, not much could be gained against the employer for breach of contract (at most two days of pay).
Of course, if through the grievance process, the employee is returned to his position by reinstatement, he also may be eligible to receive back pay.
That said, if he was involved in three at fault accidents (even if minor) in a year, there is probably sufficient good cause to terminate him, in all honesty. If his job is as a driver, three accidents can cause a drastic increase in insurance rates and could definitely indicate negligence, which is definitely not a quality you’d want in a driver.
Of course, this would be different if the accidents were the other driver’s fault, as it would be unfair to punish the employee for the mistakes of other drivers.

I realize the above information is not what you wanted to hear and I sincerely XXXXX XXXXX had better news to give you, but I hope you appreciate an honest and direct answer to your question. It would be unprofessional of me and unfair to you to provide you with anything less.

Please let me know if you have any follow up or clarifying questions as I want to ensure that you are completely satisfied with my service. Please contact me first if you are contemplating leaving me a negative rating, as I’ll be happy to continue to address your concerns until you are completely satisfied with my service.

If not, please remember to rate my answer positively so I get credit for my work.

Thanks and best of luck!

-Joseph


Joseph, Lawyer
Satisfied Customers: 4868
Experience: Extensive experience representing employees and management
Joseph and other California Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 9 months ago.

Can you be place on a Suspended pending Investigation, if the company doesn't have a policy for such action and none of the employees have signed anything for such action???

Expert:  Joseph replied 9 months ago.
Yes, absent a policy that states that the company cannot do that, since as an at-will employer, an employer can suspend an employee at any time for any reason with or without any prior notice.

The collective bargaining agreement would need to curtail this by stating that it cannot be done. Or that an employer is obligated to pay the employee while suspended.

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