What are the rights of a suspended employee?

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What are the rights of a suspended employee?

I am a 4 year veteran of a fast-food chain. I was suspended for telling a customer the truth. When my GM made me sign a suspension form he told me , “You should have lied to the customer”. Can they do this to me?

Asked on September 9, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, New Mexico

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

The fact of the matter is that you can be suspended for just about anything. Typically 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.  An employee in turn can work for an employer, or not, their choice. 

Exceptions to the above would be if there is a stated company policy contrary to the way in which this 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, etc).  Unless one of these applies, your employer's action is perfectly permissible under the law.


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