The Lipp Law Firm, PC

Call Lipp Law: (703) 896-7704

The Lipp Law Firm, PC

What to do when put on paid administrative leave

  • By: Katie Lipp
    Published: April 5, 2023

Being placed on paid administrative leave can be an intimidating and confusing experience. Administrative leave is when an employee is relieved of their normal job duties and asked to stay home during their normal work hours but still receives their pay and benefits.

This is typically done when an employee is the subject of an internal investigation and usually comes with a certain set of employee rights and obligations.

What is paid administrative leave?

It is a type of paid leave available to employees in certain circumstances. It is an authorization for an employee to be absent from work with pay, usually due to a specific situation. It aims to allow employees to take time away from work while being compensated. Generally, it is used when an employee is subjected to an internal investigation or disciplinary action is being taken.

Why would someone be put on paid administrative leave?

The main reason for putting someone on paid leave is to protect the people and resources of the company. While it can be for various reasons, it often involves alleged misconduct that could threaten the safety or security of the company.

Whether it’s workplace violence, sexual harassment, breach of confidentiality, or misuse of company property, an employer may use paid leave to investigate the allegations and ensure the safety of their people and resources. It’s an important step that any employer should take to ensure the safety of their workplace and the people within it.

Employee rights and obligations

Employees have certain rights and obligations when placed on administrative leave.

Rights include:

  • The right to be treated comparably to other employees that have taken similar actions
  • The right not to be subjected to any retaliation or harassment while on leave
  • The right, while still employed, to keep being paid and receiving benefits

Obligations include:

  • Remaining available for contact and cooperating with the investigation
  • Responding to any requests from your employer promptly
  • Refraining from discussing the details of the investigation with anyone outside of the company. Sometimes, the company will direct the employee not to speak with other employees about the investigation.

Best practices when on administrative leave

When placed on administrative leave, it’s important to follow these best practices to protect your reputation and your future.

Take the time to consult with an employment attorney. An employment attorney can help you navigate the situation and protect your rights and interests.

Remain informed of the investigation and any updates. This will help you understand your current situation better, because every situation is unique.

Keep your job options open by updating your resume and refreshing your industry contacts. You want to cover all of your bases to protect your future and make sure you have multiple job options in the unfortunate event of job loss.

Finally, practicing self-care and mental care while on leave is important. Being in limbo can be an incredibly emotionally taxing experience, and taking advantage of any available resources to maintain mental wellness during this time is important.

How long can a company keep you on paid administrative leave?

Administrative leave does not have a set duration of time, and the length usually depends on the situation. Employees subject to an investigation will be required to cooperate and may be placed on leave until that investigation is complete. As such, the length of time an individual is on leave will depend on the complexity of the investigation and its outcomes.

Can you come back from paid administrative leave?

In the event of an allegation, employees and managers are eligible to resume their positions only after a thorough investigation determines the accuracy of the claim. If the accusation is proven true, they may face termination or alternative disciplinary measures.

Regardless of the outcome, it is crucial for individuals to comply with the employer’s policies and engage in clear communication throughout the investigative process to facilitate their successful return, if that option is available.

Can you take up another job when on paid leave?

Depending on the specific situation, employees on paid leave may be allowed to search for or take up another job during their leave. However, checking the terms of leave and the company’s policy on job-searching while on leave is important. Taking up another job before the leave is complete may be considered a violation of company policy.

It’s also important to note that employers don’t always need to allow employees to take up another job while on leave. It is up to the employer’s discretion; the employee can only take up another job if the employer’s policies allow for it, and employees should only do so under the guidance of an employee education attorney.

You will want to note that depending on where you are working from, different employment laws apply that control how much your employer can limit you from working other jobs. For example, Washington, DC has very employee-friendly employment laws that limit how much employers can prevent outside employment.

Hire an employment attorney

If you or your loved one are placed on administrative leave and feel uncertain or confused about your rights and obligations, it is always advisable to hire an administrative leave lawyer. At The Lipp Law Firm, our experienced employment attorneys can help guide you through the legal process, ensuring your rights and interests are protected at every step.

Our knowledgeable and approachable team is here to provide you with the necessary advice and support you need. We understand this may be a difficult and confusing time, and we are here to guide you and provide you with professional, competent representation. Contact us today at (703) 896-7704 to schedule a consultation.

Kathryn Megan Lipp

Katie dedicates her practice to employment separation guidance.
Based on her successful employment litigation practice...Read More