Can an employer suspend an employee due to a false sexual harrasment claim?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Can an employer suspend an employee due to a false sexual harrasment claim?

I was suspended from work on a false sexual harassment claim. HR called me in Friday, said everything on my end checked out and there was no sexual harassment. Cool. However, when I went in to work on Monday, I was told that I’m being suspended with no pay because the accuser decided to involve her attorney. Is this legal?

Asked on July 31, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Utah


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

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

In an "at will" work arrangement, a company can set the conditions of employment much as it sees fit. This includes when and why to terminate, suspend or otherwise discipline a worker. That is unless such action violates the terms of an employment contract or union agreement, or constitutes some form of legally actionable discrimination. Bottom line, your supension is perfectly permissable.

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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