Boss says suspension,worker says dismissal

Whether or not an employer can suspend a non-unionized employee without pay is a foggy realm, but it’s starting to clear
By Meghan McCreary
|CHRR, Report on Employment Law|Last Updated: 10/11/2005

Figuring out when it’s appropriate to suspend an employee without pay for misconduct isn’t easy.

Historically, the common law has followed the principle that in the absence of an express or implied term in an employment contract, it is not open to the employer to suspend an employee without pay as a means of disciplining the person for misconduct.

In the vast majority of cases, courts have determined that a disciplinary suspension amounts to a constructive dismissal. By suspending the employee from his duties, the employer has unilaterally and fundamentally changed a term or condition of the employment contract without providing the employee with reasonable notice of the change, thereby repudiating the contract.