Can I be suspended from work for stealing if my boss has no proof?

UPDATED: Aug 1, 2011

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Can I be suspended from work for stealing if my boss has no proof?

I am a housekeeper, I cleaned a room that guest had already checked out of. After I cleaned the room the general manager asked me if I received a $20 tip from that specific room, or if I had found any money in that room. I said no, since I had not found any money in the room. Then 2 days later, I went to get my paycheck, the general manager asked me again if I had found any money in that room, and again I said no. Then he asked me not to come back to work until he “investigates the matter further”. That happened 9 days ago; he would not talk to me when I called back about a week later?

Asked on August 1, 2011 Washington


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

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

I'm afraid that you can be suspended for this. Unless you have some sort of union agreement or employment contract to the contrary or this action violates company policy or is the result of some form of discrimination or the like, your employer has violated no law. The fact is that in an at will employment relationship (and most work arrangements are), an at will employer can generally impose any and and all work conditions as it sees fit. This includes when to suspend an employee, for  how long and the reasons for it (in fact you could be suspended for this reason or no reason at all).

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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