HR Home Forums Community Can an employer suspend without pay as a discipline?

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  • Conner Lantz
    Post count: 4836

    Hi, we have an employee who violated the harassment policy with offensive, belittling in nature conduct and it is unwelcomed.
    This is stated in our employee handbook which he received a copy.
    Can the company suspend him without pay for 2 days (he is a salary employee) and suspensions are not mentioned in our employment letters?
    Please advise.
    Thank you.

    Conner Lantz
    Post count: 4836

    Every situation is different. But let me outline an approach you can use to judge the fairness of the penalty:
    Do you have a progressive discipline policy? If not, does your harassment policy specifically provide for discipline and include suspensions? If so, you should be able to suspend the employee if he/she committed a clear violation and the penalty is consistent with your policy. If you don’t have a policy, do you have documentation of discipline imposed on other employees for committing similar violations? If so, is 2-days suspension consistent with those previous incidents?
    You also need to keep in mind other aggravating and mitigating factors in determining the appropriate discipline such as whether this is a first or repeat offence, the employee’s position–the higher the position, the more you’re entitled to expect from him/her, his/her remorse and willingness to accept responsibility, whether the conduct was provoked, etc.
    Hope that helps. Glenn

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