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

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

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


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 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.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption