Most of the time, you’ll need to sign a variety of documents to be employed. One of them is the employee handbook, which contains rules, regulations, and procedures you must follow. Unless you adhere to them well, you risk a suspension or even a termination.
But sometimes, suspension can be indiscriminate. Employers, vested with authority, might decide to send you off or terminate your contract on offenses or misconduct you’re unaware of or don’t necessarily constitute a work breach. In such a scenario, what do you do?
If you’ve faced unmerited work suspension without pay, you’re not alone. This article will help you understand why work suspension without pay happens, know your rights as an employee, and, most especially, how to get help.
Work suspension is a disciplinary measure used by employers while employment relationships persist. It’s defined as a temporary relief from work duties. This may last for a short period or longer depending on set stipulations. For example, you may be suspended for being absent from work without prior notice or authorized permission.
Reasons Why You May Be Suspended Without Pay
Employers have certain reasons for suspending employees without paying them. These include:
Breach Of Contract
Breach of contract happens when an employee fails to fulfill their duties under the terms set out in their employment contract. Their employer may suspend them from work without pay as part of their enforcement of regulations.
Gross misconduct is when an employee behaves inappropriately in a professional setting. This can range from theft to sexual harassment and even assault on other employees. An employer may suspend you without pay if they find your conduct disruptive or intolerable.
When employees don’t perform their duties to an acceptable level, employers may suspend them without pay. This is usually because the employer cannot afford to keep paying an employee who cannot help them achieve their daily objectives. This is usually done because the employee has been given a chance to improve and hasn’t done so.
If an employee is not authorized to be absent from work, an employer may suspend them without pay. This includes taking time off for holiday leave that the employer has not approved. If you’re on a probationary period, unauthorized absence may also be grounds for suspension without pay.
Where And How To Get Help
If you believe you’ve been wrongfully suspended from work, you can visit this website to learn what you can do to address the situation. You can also take the following courses of action:
You can seek legal representation if you’ve been wrongfully suspended. This is important if the suspension could affect your future employment, such as when an employer claims you were suspended for cause. A lawyer can help explain your rights and work with you to get compensation for any damages suffered because of wrongful suspension.
Unemployment Claims And Benefits
If you were wrongfully suspended, you might be eligible for unemployment benefits. These payments can help you cover living expenses until the end of the suspension period. The benefits you receive will depend on your company’s stipulations, though the laws of your state and the number of weeks you worked before being suspended also play a part.
Revisit Your Employment Contract
If it turns out your employer violated the terms of your employment contract, you might be able to sue them. For example, suppose the contract says you can only be suspended for cause, and your employer suspends you without one. In that case, you have grounds for a lawsuit. You can also seek compensation for any damages you suffered due to the violation.
Contact Your Employer
Call your employer immediately if they have violated the terms of your employment contract. Explain how they have broken the contract and ask how they plan to rectify the situation. You may be able to negotiate a settlement or get reinstated without having to file suit.
Rights Of Suspended Employees
Getting help is primarily based on your rights. Suspended employees are entitled to these two rights:
Right To Appeal
The right to appeal a suspension without pay is available to all workers. While the employer may have grounds for not paying your wages during a suspension, you can still dispute this verdict with a level of protection. You can file an appeal through an employment lawyer against your employer and ask them to reconsider their decision.
Right To Be Paid
If you’re suspended without pay, the law requires your employer to pay you a minimum amount. This is called ‘statutory’ or ‘legislated’ pay. The amount employers are required to pay suspended workers depends on the type of job performed and how long an employee has been with the company. But if you’ve been suspended due to misconduct, your contract must honor these rights. Failure to do so can be grounds for a lawsuit.
One of the worst things that could happen to an employee is being suspended without pay. Fortunately, all workers have ways to protect themselves from unexplained employer decisions. Don’t be afraid to stand your ground and reach out for help. Empower yourself by knowing your rights and taking the best steps toward peace of mind in the workplace.