Fayetteville, NC asked in Employment Law for North Carolina

Q: Kirk Angel: Do you know Dept of Labor law regarding suspending employees? You said there's no legal way it must happen

Please read 25 NCAC 01J .0611 DISCIPLINARY SUSPENSION WITHOUT PAY.

Attorney in Fayetteville routinely suspends employees (without cause) then allows them back then suspends them again and again hoping employees will quit. Either way...suspended employee or employee who quits is not able to obtain unemployment benefits which the employer pays. What is the employee's recourse? Is there an exception to unemployment rules that will allow employee in this situation benefits?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Kirk Angel
Kirk Angel
Answered
  • Knoxville, TN
  • Licensed in North Carolina

A: I am confused by this post. Are you saying you are a state employee? 25 NCAC 01j.0611 is part of the NC State Human Resources Act which applies to state employees only. A state employee would be advised of a suspension. What does the attorney in Fayetteville have to do with that? Is the attorney in Fayetteville employed by one of the state agencies? In any case, if you are a state employee, then there are ways to challenge your suspension which should have been in writing.

Also, I believe you are referring to another question I answered earlier this morning in which an anonymous poster asked if it was legal to suspend via text message. As I said then, the law does not require a specific method of notification (a specific employer such as the federal government, state government or unionized employers may havre rules about notifications). Moreover, the Department of Labor has no ability to make law. It can pass regulations, but it has no regulations dealing with the method of communicating a suspension to an employee that are applicable to any one other than the DOL's own employees. So I am confused by this part as well.

Further, as to unemployment, in North Carolina you are generally not qualified for benefits unless you are terminated without misconduct. If you quit, there are only a few exceptions that allow you to get benefits i.e. domestic violence, transfer with a military spouse, unilateral non-disciplinary reductions in pay or hours. I am unaware of any exception for suspensions. Layoffs, furloughs, etc. can be reasons to get unemployment.

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