In some circumstances, it may be necessary to remove an employee from the workplace pending the outcome of a personnel/HR investigation. A temporary reassignment or administrative leave/investigatory suspension may be appropriate as an interim measure for at least two reasons: (1) to allow the investigation to proceed without disruption of evidence, or (2) to preserve a safe, orderly, and professional work environment.
For administrative leave/investigatory suspension to be warranted, both of the following conditions must be met:
- Management has a reasonable belief that an employee’s continued presence in the workplace raises concerns about the University resources, disruption in the workplace, or the health, safety, or welfare of the employee, other employees, or students/patients/customers, and
- Management is initiating an investigation and the individual’s presence in the workplace may impact the investigatory process.
Circumstances may occur in which the need to remove an employee is emergent and obvious (e.g., when an employee commits an act of violence). In such cases, staff should contact the Department of Public Safety by dialing 911 for aid in removing the employee from the workplace. Where the need is less pressing, departments are urged to consult with their unit HR representatives, University HR/ELR and/or the Threat Assessment Team prior to placing an employee on administrative leave.
Application of Rules During Leave
Because the employee remains in paid status during an administrative leave/investigatory suspension, University work rules and policies continue to apply. For example, the employee must remain available during that employee's scheduled shift, or a reassigned shift. If an employee is unavailable without notice and authorization, the employee may be regarded as absent without leave and subject to progressive discipline up to and including termination. Departments should work with their unit HR representatives and University HR/ELR to communicate these rules and expectations in writing to the employee in a timely manner.