Can an employer put you on Unpaid leave while on paid vacation?

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Can an employer put you on Unpaid leave while on paid vacation?

while I was on paid vacation, I got a call from HR stating that I was being
placed on unpaid leave due to a possible HIPPA violation. once cleared from the
charges HR states that I would be made whole and paid for my time that I was
being investigated. once i came back to work i noticed that My sick hours were
used for those 4 days while i was being investigated. I have emailed my HR and
they have not responded. I have checked our policies and employee handbook and
cant find anything regarding this. is this legal?

Asked on July 8, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 1 year ago | Contributor

There are two different issues in what you write:
1) Can they place you on unpaid leave while on paid vacation, if an issue comes up that would cause them to place you on unpaid leave if you were not on vacation at the time? Yes--you being on vacation does not mean your employer cannot take disciplinary action against you.
2) Can they use your sick days when you are not sick or out on medical leave? No. Sick days can be used if you are otherwise on unpaid medical leave but not if medical needs, illness, disability, etc. is not a factor.


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