Can a company force you to take leave without pay without notice?

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Can a company force you to take leave without pay without notice?

My husband was told he had to take leave of absence without pay due. He was evaluated while training military personnel a few weeks ago. The tester had him sign paperwork that stated he would be re-evaluated the following day. Instead he was immediately de-certified and not re-evaluated. He continued to train without knowing he was not certified. He continued to work as normal until

yesterday. He was told he had to take a leave of absence without pay for a month. There was no advanced notice of this action. On top of that they never gave him a copy of the document he signed. I feel that this company is taking advantage of my husband. My husband retired from the military 4 months ago and starting working at this company on retirement leave 8 months ago. He has no understanding of how the civilian workforce acts. I asked him if this has happened to anyone else that he knows. He stated that another instructed had to do a month of leave without pay but he had been de-certified 3 times.

Asked on August 15, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Washington

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

In the civilian workforce, except to the extent changed or limited by an unexpired written employment contract for a definite term (e.g. a one-year or two-year contract), all employment is "employment at will." That means the employer could terminate an employee at any time, for any reason (or even no reason at all, other than wanting to terminate them), without any warning or notice. Since they could terminate without notice, they could do anything less than or short of termination, such as suspending, putting on leave, furloughing, etc. the employee. Based on what you write, this appears to be legal.


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