|Sample Suspension Letter
by J. Talbott, LL.B.
This letter is written for the suspension of a unionized employee in Canada. Follow the links on the left or at the bottom to see sample termination (both union and non-union) and warning letters.
This sample suspension letter is provided without any warranty and is not intended as professional advice. Use at your own risk.
C/o Employer’s Address
Dear Jenni Baker:
Re: One Day Suspension
In accordance with Article 99.4 of the collective agreement, this letter serves notice that you will be serving a one day suspension on December 1, 2002 for the physical altercation that occurred between you and Kate Barnacle yesterday.
Yesterday at about 1 o’clock p.m., I was in my office when I heard a loud scream coming from the other end of our 5th floor office space. When I left to find out what happened, I discovered Ms. Barnacle upset and flustered. The right side of her face had turned completely red and her right eye was watering. I asked her what had happened and she said that you had slapped her with an open hand across the face. She said that you were angry because she was the successful candidate in a recent competition for the job of Office Administrator.
In addition, I interviewed Stacey Smith and Mike Jones, who were both near the scene of the event. Stacey said she saw you two arguing in the hallway, but she did not pay attention to what was said. She then heard a yell come from Ms. Barnacle, and looked up to see you storming away, and Kate bending over, holding her face. Mike Jones was in his office, but his door was partially shut. He overheard you say loudly, “I am going to get you for this.” And he heard Ms. Barnacle reply, “Try it, you bitch.” He then heard a yell from Ms. Barnacle, and then heard you leave.
I was unable to find you at the scene. I then telephoned your cell phone and left you a message, asking you to get in touch with me immediately. I stated it was urgent. I then called you at home and left the same message. Before I left work at 6:00 p.m., I informed your shop steward, Rita Pita, of what witnesses had said transpired in the hallway. I told her that I needed to speak to you urgently. I left a message with your home answering machine indicating that you should attend work at 9:00 a.m. the next day, and come to my office first thing in the morning.
The next morning, you attended my office with Rita Pita acting as shop steward. I asked you what had happened the previous day with Kate Barnacle. You indicated that she has been on a “witch hunt to get me.” You said that she really did not want the job as Office Administrator, but had applied for the job to spite you. Since getting the job, you said, “she has made my life a living hell.” You listed examples, such as smirking at you, and using very formal language when addressing you.
I have taken all of your explanations for your behavior into account, and I have decided that you must serve a one day suspension without pay, tomorrow, December 1, 2002. You will not report to work that day, and you will not be paid for that day. On the following day, December 2, 2002, you shall report to work at your usual time. Striking someone physically is a serious offence. Your actions violate your duty to treat your colleagues with respect, and may violate the Criminal Code of Canada.
I must stress that your misbehaviour is serious and completely unacceptable. Never, in my experience at this office, has one employee physically struck another. As a consequence, I am relying on Article 99.2, which lists violence as one of the triggers for immediate suspension or discharge, to give you this one-day suspension. I must impress on you that this behaviour is unacceptable, and shall not be repeated in future. Any future repetition of similar behaviour shall lead to further discipline, up to and including dismissal.
If you require assistance, in future, to manage interpersonal conflicts with others, please approach me. I am here to assist you in completing your work in a supportive work environment. In addition, our insurance carrier provides coverage for professional and confidential counselling, which you may decide to take advantage of.
Jane Anne Kelsey
cc. Union Local (Names of Shop Stewards)
cc. Personnel File of Jenni Baker
Sample Written Warning Letter
Sample Termination Letter
Tips on the Art of the Discipline Letter
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
J. Talbott, LL.B., is a labour lawyer, consultant, and founder of the Ottawa firm, Labour Relations Consultants. He was formerly Director of Human Resources for a unionized, national non-profit organization. His contact information is given below.
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