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TJ, Esq.
TJ, Esq., Attorney
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 12399
Experience:  JD, MBA
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I have been suspended from my job as a Child Care Center director.

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I have been suspended from my job as a Child Care Center director. I was off on leave for work due to my mother being low sick and 2 days later she passed. We had an incident at work were one of the caregivers was reported to the person in charge for supposedly tapping two children on the hand and twisting a child's arm. the lady in while I was out called me and told me about the caregiver telling on another one. my advice to her was to get a detailed statement from each one and discussed this with them. I didn't hear anymore about the incident until I returned to work. I did not want to come back at that time because I had not had time to grieve my mom's death. I don't sleep and sometimes I forget to eat. I feel incompetent. HR said I should have reported the incident to my supervisor and I was suspended for this. what can I do?
Hello and thank you for the opportunity to assist you. My name is TJ, and I will do my very best to answer your legal questions.

First, please accept my condolences on your mother's passing. I know that you must feel very sad, distressed, depressed, and the last thing you want to deal with are issues at work. I'm sorry that you're going through this.

Regarding the suspension, I'm sorry to say that it was lawful to suspend you. Please note that I'm not saying that it was right to suspend you. It's just that the law does not generally butt its nose into business decisions, such as the circumstances under which employees should be suspended. The exception is when the reason is based upon a factor such as race, religion, gender, disability or (in some cases) age. In other words, it would be illegal for your employer to suspend you because they don't like your race, etc. But it is generally lawful for an employer to suspend an employee for any other reason. In this case, it is lawful for your employer to suspend you for not reporting something inappropriate at work, even if you discovered the inappropriate behavior while you were off duty.

Accordingly, I don't think that you'll find recourse through the law. In this case, I think that you'll find recourse by arguing that it is unfair to discipline you in your specific situation, which is that your mother just passed, that you were grieving when you learned about the inappropriate behavior at work, that you were not in a condition to think clearly, that you were focused on the obvious family trauma, and that if you had learned of the inappropriate behavior under other circumstances, then you would certainly report what occurred to your supervisor immediately.

In a nutshell, rather than making legal arguments, you'll be making an argument that it would be a poor business decision, and unfair, to suspend you under those specific circumstances. An employee who takes time off due to a death in the family should be briefly excused from dealing with work issues and following ordinary protocol.

Does that answer your question? Please let me know if you need clarification, as I am happy to continue helping you until you are satisfied. Also, your positive feedback is greatly appreciated. Thank you for using our service!

If you would like to direct additional legal questions to me in the future, then please type "To TJ, Esq." in the subject line of your question.
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