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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 116709
Experience:  20+ Years of Employment Law Experience
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It is concerning my job suspension. Yesterday my first day

Customer Question

It is concerning my job suspension. Yesterday my first day being suspended. I need a few questions answered.
JA: Thanks. Can you give me any more details about your issue?
Customer: I was suspended supposedly for not having customer equipment who cancelled service with our company last year in my desk drawer at the office. I left post it notes on the device so I could supposedly remember. I don't spend a lot of time in the office during the day so I forgot I had the equipment.
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Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
My main question is because of this mistake for these two devices/two customers. The HR Manager is questioning my ethics and an investigation is being launched to see if I hid the items and did not bring it to my manager's attention. The HR Manager ask questions in theory that I hid the items so the customer would not cancel and give me a commission chargeback. This theory is ridiculous because the customers were given the contact number to cancel service. Both customers were in contact with Our company concerning the issue for cancelling the service because they changed their minds on the monthly service needs. Me having the equipment is irrelevant because once the account is cancelled in the system the charge back is automatic.I have also dealt with the same HR manager when I complained to her about a co-worker who left a made up paper figure on my desk that I took racial offense to as well comments made in my absence that were offensive as well. The HR manager and Sales Manager swept everything under the rug and did not make a big deal of somethings I considered to be a big deal. After that incident I transferred to a different Sales division within the same office which means the HR Manager is still the same for all issues. I feel that this is retaliation to move me out of the business for bringing up and taking offense to somerhing that could have cost the company a lawsuit and could also racially decide the office.I would like to know what are the rules and limitations on a suspension and how long can it last? Can I take a leave of absence in the midst of a suspension? If there is money owed to me for Reinbursements do they still have to pay within a certain guideline time frame? This whole ordeal has once again left a bad taste in my mouth and do not want to have my name soiled because of a revenge move from company managers. I am also considering legal action because I think this situation has left me physically and emotionally drained.
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
Absent a written contract to the contrary, there are no rules or laws in at will employment regarding this. An at will employee may be hired/fired/suspended from work for no reason or any reason not based only on their age/race/sex/disability/national origin and the at will employee's only recourse is to file for unemployment.
The employer can suspend an employee for as long as they choose, but if the suspension is without good cause (not for misconduct like is being alleged here) the employee can file for unemployment benefits, as the suspension may be considered a constructive discharge. You cannot take leave or anything else while suspended, as you are technically not working for the employer during that time.
You must be paid for any work done prior to the suspension and the employer cannot withhold wages pursuant to the fair labor standards act. So they must pay you everything they owe you prior to the suspension.
Generally, any suspension progressing beyond 5 days may be considered constructive discharge and you can go apply for unemployment and then they would be forced to come to unemployment with evidence that they had good cause misconduct to suspend you and you can appeal their claims and get a hearing in front of an unemployment hearing officer to determine whether what they suspended/terminated you for was sufficient misconduct warranting the action taken by the employer and if they find it was excessive they would award unemployment benefits.