Can I be suspended just because of hearsay?

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Can I be suspended just because of hearsay?

About 2 weeks ago, I reported to my manager that I was being sexually harassed by 1 specific employee. I refused to work because they scheduled him every single day I worked, for 2 weeks. They then fired him because I had enough evidence. The day after, I was scheduled to work. As I was getting ready to go to work, my General Manager called and said that I was put on suspension and refused to tell me why. I then heard why. My sister works there with me, as well as many of my friends. They found out that I was suspended because an older female employee called and told the manager that I had lied about being sexually harassed. Can they do that?

Asked on November 5, 2010 under Employment Labor Law, Illinois

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You can be suspended for just about anything. In most states employment arrangements are what is known as "at will".  Generally this means that an employer can hire or fire someone for any reason or no reason whatsoever, as well has increase/decrease salary/hours, promote/demote, and generally impose requirements as they see fit.  You in turn can work for an employer, or not, your choice. 

Exceptions to the above would be if there is a stated company policy contrary to the way in which your situation was handled, or there is a union/employment agreement that does not allow for such action, or this situation has arisen due to some type of discrimination (i.e., for reasons due to your race, religion, age, disability, sex, national origin).  Unless one of these applies, your employer's action did not violate the law.


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