Can I be charged with a policy violation with no proof?

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Can I be charged with a policy violation with no proof?

I turned in an expense account with dinner and 1 beer. One month later my company looked at the company vehicles GPS and summarized that I had a beer and then broke the company’s zero tolerance rule and wants to suspend me for 30 days. Can they do that?

Asked on June 17, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Illinois

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If you do not have an employment contract, you are an employee at will. An employee at will, as the term implies, is hired, retained, disciplined, fired, etc. at the will of the employer. That is, if the company wants to suspend you and you have not contract, they may--regardless of the strength or lack of evidence.

Employment descisions like that are not like court; in court, you could not be found liable and forced to repay money without evidence, but in an employment context, a company may take nearly any action against an employee at will that it wants (with a few limited exceptions: no illegal discrimination, such as against a sex or race or the elderly; no retalitation for using FMLA leave or bringing a protected claim, like an overtime claim).


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