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Ellen, Lawyer, Consultant
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 36714
Experience:  25 years of experience helping people like you.
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is it legal to suspend an exempt salaried employee without

Resolved Question:

is it legal to suspend an exempt salaried employee without pay. I was syspended 10 days, my employee never said that i was suspended without pay, however I was not paid my salary during the period of suspension. I have worked with the company for 20 years and I am a director. What are my rights in this matter? I reside in the Illinois.
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Ellen replied 8 years ago.
Do you have a contract?
Customer: replied 8 years ago.

My employer informed me that employees 9did not provide me with any names) alleged misconduct of intimidatiion and threat where they were subjected to unfair treatment durning aa recient Quality Improvement process. I was not provided with any information on the allegation. Employer stated that a randon number os staff were questioned an it was determined that my conduct was inappropriate. Nothing concrete about misconduct was presented. I asked to see the evidence and the Human resorce director refused. I was served a 10 suspension. In a meeting with the CEO and the HR director I was informed of the suspension and suspension without pay was never mentioned. Nothing about my pay was mentioned.


I had been conducting a quality improvement process since Januray 2009 in preparation for an upcoming audit and discovered that a number of employees were difficient in their documentation. I met with supervisors and gave the written notice as to what the difficiency were and informed them that a plan of improvement was needed. I also sent this information to the Human Resource director. The Human Resource Director denied having an knowledge of the QIC process, I informed him and the CEO that the HR director was given a copy of the reports that was given to each staff after files were reviewed. In one case 76 files on a staff caseload was reviewed and all 76 files were out of compliance with our funding source and other regulatory agent's standards The supervisors presented the staff with disciplinary action along with a timeframe as to when the work needed to be completed. I submitted to the the CEO and the board of directors, documentation of the communication regarding staff diffifiences and the process I went through. I have a copy of the disciplinary action action and it States : "Discription of Violation-Misconduct by intimidating and threating BHS employees. It was determined that after an internal departmental investigation the BHS employee were subjected to undue and unfair treatment during the most recent QIC process. This type of behavior and staff abuse will not be tolerated. As a result of stated infraction you are hereby suspended for 10 working days effective April 6, 2009 through April 17, 2009. Your next regular workday will April 20, 2009. Should this or any other infraction occur again you will be disciplined up to and including discharge." I wrote a rebuttal stating that " I refuse to sigh due to the fact that these allegations are untrue due to the fact that Mr. Patterson (HR director) had prior knowledgeof the file review and documentation and regarging those staff who alleged these complaints and the amount of money their negligence would cost the agences in revenue. Mr. Patterson and the supervisors of all those staff were involved in the discipline of those staff. The negligence ranged from $4000 to $40,000. (Mr. Patterson was sent the report). None of these allegation are true. I met with the staff and supervisor together.

Expert:  Ellen replied 8 years ago.
Do you have a contract? If so, what does it state regarding periods of suspension?
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
I do not have a contract, only a job description, i was given a new job description yesterday.
Expert:  Ellen replied 8 years ago.

You appear to have an action for defamation and tortious interference with contract against the employees. You also appear to have an action based upon breach of contract with your employer.

It appear that you may file an action against the employees personally for the torts of interference with contract based on a business expectancy and defamation. This is independent of your action against the employer.


To establish a prima facie claim for tortious interference with contract, you must show the existence of a valid contractual relationship or business expectancy; the interferer's knowledge of the relationship or expectancy; intentional interference inducing or causing a breach or termination of the relationship or expectancy; and resultant damage to the party whose relationship or expectancy has been disrupted.


Defamation basically consists of: (1) a false statement of fact about another; (2) an unprivileged publication of that statement to a third party; (3) some degree of fault, depending on the type of case; and (4) some harm or damage.

Libel is defamation by the printed word and slander is defamation by the spoken word.


Based upon your post only, you appear to meet all the criteria to establish a prima facie claim for tortious interference with contract and defamation.

You can file a breach of contract action against your employer. Your employer requested that you perform a QIC. You performed the QIC to their specifications. As a result of the performance of the QIC you were denied compensation.

You will want to meet with a local lawyer at your earliest convenience.


I hope that the information which I provided was helpful to you.


Ellen and 4 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you

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