HR Home Forums Answer for What is the HR best practice for a respectful workplace case – can the employer suspend the employee without pay during the investigative process as it is a risk to have them on site?

Conner Lantz
Post count: 4836

Generally think it’s a bad idea to suspend an employee pending an investigation because it opens you to due process and procedural unfairness claims. In other words, should presume employees are innocent unless and until you do a fair and thorough investigation and determine that they did commit the offence. Suspending while the investigation reverses the presumption and punishes the accused because of the accusation.The other problem with the suspension is that the employee should be available to interview as a witness during the investigation. If you don’t get the employee’s side of the story, the investigation isn’t fair.
Having said that, let me add that all bets are off if the issue is one of safety. If the employee poses a risk of violence, the first priority is to protect your workers. Use sound judgment. If you’re worried about the interaction between the accuser and accused during the investigation, there may be better ways to keep them separate without suspending the accused.
Great Q and I hope that helps. Glenn