Boss Had an Affair and I Got Suspended. Now What?

A question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about what to do about being suspended
after reporting a boss that was involved in an affair with a coworker. 

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Question:
My boss had been sleeping with a coworker for six months. The coworker thought she was like the boss because she was sleeping with him and began harassing coworkers and demeaning them. It was reported to me by a client that my boss was meeting the coworker at her home. I reported the matter to the company, but even though the client verified the visit, the coworker and boss denied it. Ten weeks later she quit and left town. My boss remains in place but gossip says he has been asked to retire early.

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Suspended Without A Warning

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about suspension:

It’s my 5th day at a new job as a clerk at a gas station. A fellow employee did a “beer run” while I was cleaning the parking lot. I got suspended but no write up. Is that possible?

Signed, Feels Unfair

Dear Feels Unfair:

An employer is not obligated to go through a series of disciplinary actions if it seems a more serious action is immediately required for a rule’s violation or some other event. It does seem unfair to suspend you if you are a new employee and the person who did wrong is more experienced–or if you had no way of knowing what he was doing. I have an idea there are other elements to the situation that were upsetting to your manager.

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Suspended Without A Chance To Defend Myself

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about suspension:

I was brought up to a meeting with three of my peers. The GM, supervisor and controller were sitting there with my file plus a document on top with my name on it. There were written accusations about me, saying that I have done things to my coworkers. I never got to see what or by who this was coming from other than there was an investigation and now I am faced with a three day suspension without pay. It didn’t matter what I had to say, it was done. How can an investigation go on when you know nothing of the situation? Now I fear not only am I being set-up but fear that I cannot do anything right. Can they do this? I am supposed to return to work in three days. How do I handle this situation when I feel all alone??

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Suspended For Two Weeks

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about suspension:

I have been a bartender for 3 years. About a year ago new manager was hired that knows another employee. Recently out of nowhere I get suspended for 2 weeks from my boss, saying I over pour, discussed meetings with other people, and served someone without an ID. I would never serve anyone w/out an ID and my theory as a bartender you hear no, see no, and say no. I just don’t understand. Does someone not like me? When I get back from suspension, what to do? I’m lost and don’t understand why this is happening to me? I have been an employee for a total of 5 years. Can you give me any advice?

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Witch Hunt By Insulting Investigator

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about suspension:

I have recently been suspended during an investigation which is basically a witch hunt. During this process the investigating officer has said insulting and derogatory things to me. What should I do?

Signed, Unjustly Accused

Dear Unjustly Accused:

You can take a couple of approaches. If the remarks or actions are ongoing, the next time the investigator says something offensive to you, stop the interview and ask to talk to a manager right then. Report what was said and say that you want to make a complaint about it. Or, the moment the interview is over, complain to a manager, in writing, about it. In either of those cases, you will want to be certain that a reasonable person would view you are correct to be offended. Examples of unprofessional or biased investigating: using obscenities, yelling, making remarks based on race or gender, calling you a liar, etc.

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What Is The Suspension Process?

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about suspension:

What is the process of suspending someone from work?

Signed, Looking

Dear Looking:

Our site doesn’t specialize in HR advice, but rather advice about communication and relationship problems in the workplace. Since suspension is so serious and fraught with potential for problems, an organization would be wise to consult with an attorney who specializes in labor law or a Human Resources consultant with a knowledge of laws for your state or country as well as issues related to the type of business in which you are engaged. This will ensure there is no liability risk for the company.Another reason having good HR or legal advice before a suspension is to ensure that tax records are maintained correctly during the absence and to ensure that benefits required to be maintained by the employer are kept up to date. If the employee has a shared contribution for some benefits or savings plans, legal advice could help you figure out how to ensure those are continued so as not to create an additional problem for the employee.The bottom line is that a suspension is much more complex than merely telling an employee not to come to work for a few days, or docking the pay of an employee in an informal way. Legal or HR advice is needed.Best wishes to you!

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Suspended. Should I Fight?

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about record of suspension harming getting a job:

I was suspended from work for few days and also there was another lady who was also suspended. It was not fair, but no one listened to us that we were innocent and still charged us and punished us. I was pregnant and lost my child. I became diabetic and also I was offered new job but that was rescinded one week before I could join. On asking Human resources of the other company I was told that number of days I got in suspension became a question. I had gone through lot of anxiety and had ended up at the psychologist so I was not in the position to fight back. The other lady fought back in civil service and got her suspension over turned. I thought I lost my new job because the new state agency must have looked at my personal file and found out that I was suspended.

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