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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.