Can an employer place you on unpaid suspension for an investigation, and refuse to tell you what you are being investigated for?

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Can an employer place you on unpaid suspension for an investigation, and refuse to tell you what you are being investigated for?

My employer instructed me to leave work today because I was being investigated. Then he refused to tell me what I was being investigated for. I now have been forced to take 1 week unpaid suspension. I live in CO and I am curious if this is unlawful because if it is “against the law” for him to tell me what I’m being investigated for, wouldn’t it be unlawful to refuse to pay me for this forced absence without at least giving me the opportunity to speak about the issue in question? His telling me I’m being investigated contradicts his not being legally able to give me the reason.

Asked on November 26, 2010 under Employment Labor Law, Colorado

Answers:

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

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

I'm afraid that you don't have too many rights/options here.  Unless you have an employment/union contract to the contrary, or this action in some way violates company policy, or you are being discriminated against, you employer is under no legal duty to disclose why you were suspended or what, if any, investigation is being pursued.  Most state work-place relationships are "at will employment".  Accordingly, 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. 


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