What are the laws regarding administrative leaves imposed by an employer for disciplinary reasons?

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What are the laws regarding administrative leaves imposed by an employer for disciplinary reasons?

I was recently placed on administrative leave from my workplace for violating a computer policy. I checked my personnel handbook regarding administrative leaves and could not find any information in it. I also did not receive a formal document stating that I was on administrative leave and the reasons for it. I have sent numerous emails to the administrator and the HR department, but I have received no responses. Are there any laws regarding how companies handle administrative leaves due to disciplinary reasons? My company has 12 employees and is private.

Asked on January 24, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Private employers are free to discipline employees however they want--or to suspend, or even fire them, at will--unless:

1) the employee has a contract which protects his/her job or sets out a disciplinary process which must be followed; or

2) the company is harassing or discriminating against the employee on the basis of a protected characteristic--for example, because of the employee's race, sex, religion, age over 40, or disability.

Apart from the above, your employer may place you on administristrive leave, or even terminate you entirely.


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