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Administrative Leave Means You're Already Gone - Urban Meyer Edition...

Well, I heard some people talkin' just the other day
And they said you were gonna put me on a shelf
But let me tell you I got some news for you
And you'll soon find out it's true...

-"Already Gone" by the Eagles


I think I've written about people being put on administrative leave before - but I'm reminded of it on the news that Ohio State put football coach Urban Meyer on Paid Administrative Leave this week.  Meyer is currently looking at the kitchen walls at home as his phone blows up, based the school announcing it is investigating Courtney Smith's claims that several people close to Meyer knew of a 2015 allegation of domestic violence against her ex-husband, former Ohio State assistant football coach Zach Smith, who was fired in July.

This post isn't about college football.  It's about the use of Administrative Leave, usually of the paid variety.

Paid Administrative Leave means the following things:

1--Whatever you're accused of is too damn hot to allow you to remain in the workplace.

2--Your employer believes that you likely did enough (or didn't do enough for leadership positions) on the issue in question to warrant your eventual termination.

3--Administrative Leave is a form of action your employer can point to as taking action while they actually investigate what happened on the issue in question.


Got it? Great.  Let's dig into #4 above a bit.  It's a tough pill to swallow for some.


Your employer put you out because they believed there was a high probability your investigation would end in a termination.

But for every day you are out, your career expertise and power, as well as your ability to return to your job, decreases in a dramatic way.  That stinks. It's like a game of Fortnite where you have a power level for an individual.  You're getting whacked hard every day you are out, and the players in the game all see your power level after a week of being out and determine it's only a matter of time before you're out of the game.  This perception makes it hard for you to survive and come back off of paid administrative leave.

That stinks because sometimes you're innocent.  The good news for most people who will read this is that their process would be nowhere near as public as Urban Meyer.

If you're confronted with an allegation, do what you can to avoid being placed on leave.  Offer to take vacation, personal days and generally get out of the way.  Avoid the tag of Administrative Leave if you can.

Oh yeah, be sure to take action on people who do bad things and shouldn't be part of the company.  Don't protect people you like who do stupid things.  Don't do stupid things.  These are all viable options to avoid administrative leave.


Sanjay Mehra

Its a worth shot, nice article. Keep contributing.

Buck Rodgers

Such a sweeping statement of an article - Way to broad of a topic to determine such a thing. Every situation and industry is different. In my industry (law enforcement) it’s mandatory after a big job to be placed on it so they can see if there is any wrong doing. Just protocol- you cannot be present while there Investorgating the issue. That’s all. If your wrong in any way, well that’s on you. If not, 3 days and your back at it :)


Placed in admin leave and was told that I did nothing wrong. Don't get it but since I'm retiring in 2-1/2 months, it's like getting free vacation. After 27 years, yep, the admin leave tag stinks.


I reported to the Ethics Line because another employee made a threat to me under her breath, threw her dreds in my face and made other comments under her breath when management was (and once was) not present. Afterwards, my employer called me into a meeting and put me on a 15-day paid administrative leave. I am on the leave as I sit here typing this comment.

Bobbie Carroll

placed on Administrative leave after being rated highly qualify for a position on my team by the manager. Allegations were made that I falsify my resume. not true. Allegations made that I were not accessing an OPM system when I annotated my case activity log. I am thinking about putting in for Retirement. What should I do file an EEO complaint or just go ahead and retire?


just a fancy word for being fired. They can't fire you right away because you might sue them for wrongful termination, so to cover their behinds they put you in limbo and conduct a sham "investigation" and the result is always the same - you're FIRED.


So even if the allegations are false and they put you on Admin Leave, there is no chance they will bring you back??? so this is pretty much a delayed in termination... that really sucks - can you still take legal action?? I don't think it's fair that they don't listen to your side of the story.....


I am on administrative leave for asking a lady at the office what her problem was with me. She took off for 2 1/2 days after I asked her because when she left that day she called the boss crying about being confronted and that she felt threatened. I did not yell, cuss or put my hands on her. I just simply asked a question. When she returned from her couple days of being out, I was placed on administrative leave. No one ever came to me and asked what happened or to even get my side of the story. She is still in service today and I still sit at home waiting to see if I will be brought back. I did nothing wrong and was told my a union rep that I should not be out of service right now. I need some advice on my next moves.


I am currently on Administrative Leave from a school district in Maryland. I wasn't worried about being placed on Administrative Leave until I read these post and now I'm worried because every post says the end result is termination. There is a teacher shortage and now you remove a good teachers because they raise their voice. All I tried to do was educate your children. So if in fact I am terminated, then I will get back up brush myself off and start again BIGGER AND BETTER!!!


I was on Administrative Leave for 11 months. No one asked my side of story until I had an integration from Quality Assurance. From that meeting another 4 months went by with no contact from employer. Until I was notified to meet with Supervisor who requested I be terminated . Prior to this meeting I ask to reschedule because I could not obtain a union rep since my rep found another job halfway through investigation. I was read a list of workplace violations and was to wait for Human Resources to contact me. I found a union rep and as I was in a meeting with my Rep he received an email from Human Resources that all of the serious allegations were dropped. My Rep said we can get your job back. Might take awhile . However, I surprised him with my response . I don’t want to work here any more and I want to be compensated. I received additional four months pay and nothing on my record as well as good reference . In exchange that I do not file any lawsuits toward them on the future.

Hr Software

Really Worth post. Keep Writing. Must Recommended


so about four or five months ago I had a no-call no-show after telling them I would not be making it in that day and that my phone will be off. Last Saturday I was 30 minutes late because my alarm did not go off. They put me on administrative leave today and said I would know fairly quickly if I was to return or not. Multiple people have been late multiple times and have had drawer shortages of over $20 multiple times and have gotten promotions. I don't see how this is fair whatsoever Is there anything that I can do about this legally?


There is a community services manager that is on administrative leave from what I've heard because of labor code violations due to employee break periods and code violations in building structures. He seems to be acting like he's on vacation. it appears that he is just trying to just wait it out and get paid for it hoping that he'll just graciously come back someday. that's all well and good except the fact that he has to defend himself and when he gets his first bill from his lawyer for $30,000 he won't be so glib about it . . .

Sahil Bhatia

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What is the difference between suspension and administrative leave?

I was not given any hint about the allegations against me . One day I was suddently suspended by a authority. I was relieved of all my duties, and was not allowed to go to my office, not allowed to check working place email, not allowed to contact anyone at work during the suspension period (two years).

I felt that I was on a house arrest and totaly isolated. It has impacted my physical and mental well-being dramatically.

Jeanette Ransome

I was placed on unpaid suspension because a allegation of public assistance fraud after after 6 years was brought against me, it was not on my background check before I got hired. I hired an attorney it's been since 2015 and a warrant was issued 2021. If I'm cleared it states I may can be reinstated.


Place on paid administrative leave after whistle blowing fraudulent hiring practices. The city I work for is a cess pool of corruption and nepotism.


I have been place on of Paid administrative leave VI telephone until they found me competent to perform my job when I have been for my job for 3 1/2 years inside a correctional institution once I got out of the correctional institution is when my job performance came into question because they can’t get anybody filled a correctional institutions they feel that they’re punishing me by putting me on paid administrative leave I have no paperwork or nothing all I hear is I have no updates at this time from human relations

Diane Herrera

I been put on administrative paid leave, because I did what my supervisor ask me to do. If I didn't do it my supervisor would get upset. I finally told the compliance Coordinator and she took it to HR. So now it's been 3 months on June 1st. So I was called the whistle blower. Now because I came forward I'm on administrative leave and possibly lose my job! I feel like either way I'm getting punished.


Can you travel out of the country while on admin pay?

Jessica perez

When are you place on administrative leave does it mean you are getting fired . Or can you try to find a job while administrative leave

David Harless

Way too many ways to bend you over from an unpaid admin leave. Leave you out on a limb and say nothing to you? You go from being the guy who helped cover shortages on the schedule to working holidays for these people . All the extra added to the fold and 1 something and you're on a mission of how long you are going to sit on the egg and not get paid. They won't notify you until you are forced to exit for a new job. I think this is a law in the making. Too many spineless people in the right places. I believe in old testament times they would be in fear of getting stoned for pulling this kind of a foul game.

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