Can an employer suspened an employee without a prior write-up?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Can an employer suspened an employee without a prior write-up?

I am a nurse and have worked for the same company and have never had a write-up or suspension. Recently, we had our annual survey and we did poorly. We had a resident who was admitted with a questionable stage 3 wound. The admitting nurse failed to write an order for the wound. The 2 days later, as the wound care nurse, I wrote an order for the wound. We received a tag on wound care. They suspended me without pay with no written warning. I have been on suspension since the 11th of this month. Is what they did right? The other nurses who are responsible for the admission are still working. Do I have a case? I have 210 hours PTO hours at risk. Also, the wound turned out to be unstageable and the resident has been discharged.

Asked on August 20, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Florida


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

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Does your suspension violate the terms of a written employment contract or union agreement? Does it constitute some form of legally actionable discrimination (and from the facts given it does not appear to)? If not, then you are an "at will" worker. This means that your employer can set the condtions of the workplace much as it sees fit. This means that you can be suspended (or otherwise disciplined up to and including termination) for any reason or no reason at all, with or without notice.

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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