How long can an employer keep you suspended with no pay pending an investigation?

UPDATED: Jan 19, 2017

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How long can an employer keep you suspended with no pay pending an investigation?

At time of suspension they gave me no proof of misconduct and it has been 9 days and still no word and with no pay. Can I apply for unemployment now and how long can they keep me suspended?I have worked 10 years for this company and have a lot of vacation time on the books. I am a senior citizen sitting here with no pay.

Asked on January 19, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Arizona


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

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

In an "at will" employment relationship, a company can set the conditions of work much as it sees fit. This incudes when and why to suspend an employee and for how long, with or without pay. That is unless such action violates the terms of an employment contract/union agreement or constitutes some form of actionable discrimination/retaliation. That having been said, if the suspension lasts long enough, you may argue "constructive discharged" (i.e. that you were effectively terminated), which would make you eligible for unemployment benefits. At this point, you need to contact your state's department of labor for further advice.

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.

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