Suspend an Employee

Key Points

  • Suspension is a commonly used form of workplace discipline. In addition, suspension can be a preventative measure used in conducting internal investigations.  For example, a supervisor accused of harassment may be suspended pending an investigation so as to not impede the investigation in any way.
  • Suspensions may be with or without pay.  An employer should consult federal, state and local wage and hour laws to ensure compliance when suspending an employee without pay.  In addition, an employer should consider whether to implement a written, formalized suspension policy.
  • An employer should provide proper notice to an affected employee regarding the nature and length of a suspension. In addition, an employee should be provided with a date and time certain to return to work.
  • An employer should ensure that any policies and procedures are consistently applied and the discipline process is fairly administered under any applicable contracts, agreements or regulations. Because suspensions are an advanced form of discipline with serious consequences, an employee under suspension could file a court claim contending that he or she was retaliated against under federal, state or local laws. An employer should adequately document all disciplinary actions taken in order to properly defend potential court claims.

Additional Resources