HR Tip of the Week: Is it Legal to Suspend an Employee Without Pay?
The answer is yes. It is legal for an employer to use suspension with or without pay as a form of discipline. It should be considered in the same way as any other form of discipline, such as demotion, salary reduction, or termination.
If you decide to use suspension without pay as a form of discipline, make sure your organization has a set policy in place that spells out the type of conduct which warrants discipline, and what forms of discipline are subject to be used in the event of misconduct. For exempt workers, unpaid suspension is allowed only for infractions of workplace conduct rules, such as rules prohibiting sexual harassment, workplace violence, drug or alcohol use, or for violations of state or federal laws. In other words, exempt workers may be suspended without pay for serious misconduct, not performance or attendance issues.
Source: HR Daily Advisor