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Administrative Leave Policy

There are many reasons why an employee could be put on administrative leave. It could be to investigate an alleged report of misconduct, protect sensitive information within the company, or more. Also, some companies have different policies regarding administrative leave with pay. If you have issues about administrative leave, write to Employment Lawyers on JustAnswer for legal help.

Listed below are a few questions answered by the Lawyers on questions related to administrative leave.

I am on administrative leave without pay. Does this mean I am fired and can look for alternate employment?

It is up to company policy to define how long an employee can be put on administrative leave without pay. Usually, it means that you are still employed but are on leave without getting paid for it. So, unless you have been specifically told that you have been fired, you haven’t. However, you should continue to check in with your employer to ensure that you cannot later be accused of quitting your job or abandoning it.

You can also get in touch with HR and check with them how long you are expected to be on leave for and when they might be contacting you. There’s nothing stopping you from looking for alternate employment; but since you haven’t been told that you are terminated, you still have a job.

My employer has placed me on administrative leave without pay. How long can they take to reach a resolution?

Case Details and Additional Questions: I work in California and have been with my employer for only five weeks. Can this mean that I am going to be fired? Is there a possibility that they will call me in so that I can answer questions to resolve the issue?

Administrative leave is dependent on your company policy. Only general statements can be made at this stage based on what little is known of your case. Usually, an investigation within the company can be completed within two weeks. The state you work in is an “at will” employment state, so your company can terminate your employment without conducting an investigation and also suspend you without paying you. Since they haven’t done that, it seems like they are trying to solve the problem.

They are not obligated by law to call you in to answer questions, though it might seem a little odd to not do so. If you do have an employment contract and a legal right to your job, then calling you in to answer questions would be part of necessary “due process.”

Can my employer take me off paid leave while I have been put on administrative leave?

Case Details: I complained about sexual harassment in my company. The person I complained against and I were both put on paid administrative leave as part of the investigation. Stressed out, I went to visit my doctor. Now my employer says that I need to put it into writing that I chose to use my vacation and sick leave. 

If your organization employs at least 15 people and you are being treated less favorably than even the accused, it is possible that your employer has violated the federal law by retaliating against you for reporting the incident. You should, in all probability, still continue to be on paid leave until the end of the investigation. If the situation doesn’t get better, you could go to the EEOC and file a complaint against your employer.

When put on administrative leave without pay, can I be given a letter forbidding me to discuss this matter with anyone? 

Case Details: My school district’s Personnel Director put me on administrative leave with pay. Before I was ushered off campus, she handed me a letter that stated: "In order to protect the integrity of the District's investigation and to protect you from any allegations of possible misconduct, you are hereby directed to not discuss this matter with any District employee, or any other persons." How can I approach the California Labor Commissioner with a claim, meet a lawyer, or work with my union?

The school cannot stop you from approaching the Labor Commissioner to file a claim or contacting an attorney. This is just an example of non-lawyers trying to order you into not talking to any coworkers who may be used as witnesses. This would exclude your union representative, as you have the right to be represented by your union.

Administrative leave policies differ from company to company. If you are ever faced with being put on administrative leave by your employer, you should know what your rights are. Employment Lawyers on JustAnswer can help you clarify doubts and put fears to rest. So write to them for answers that are both quick and reasonable priced.

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