Is it legal for my work to suspend me without telling me why andd with no pay?

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Is it legal for my work to suspend me without telling me why andd with no pay?

Supposedly some people feel threatened that I carry a pocket knife for opening boxes at work. No one has ever said anything about feeling threatened either. I got a phone call from my manager on her day off from her cell phone saying I was suspended without pay but couldn’t tell me why because it’s an investigation. 3 days later she called to tell me some people complained about my 3″ pocket knife. I can’t go back to work until I supposedly e-mail a letter explaining why I have a knife. There was no legal documentation saying I was suspended either. It was only a phone call. There has been no meeting.

Asked on September 29, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Oregon

Answers:

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

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

First of all, is there any employment contract, union agreement or the like that prohibits this action? Does this suspension without pay violate existing company policy? Is this treatment the result of actionable discrimination? If not, then your employer is within its legal rights to do what it has done. The fact is that an "at will" work relationship gives an employer great discretion in setting the terms and conditions of employment. This includes when to hire/fire/, promote/demote, increase/decrease salary/hours and matters including suspensions.

If you think that your rights have in some way been violated, you can file a compliant with your state's department of labor.


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