Administrative leave is a temporary leave from a job assignment, with pay and benefits intact. Generally, the term is reserved for employees of non-business institutions such as schools, police, and hospitals.
Usually, an employee is placed on administrative leave when an allegation of misconduct is made against an employee, either by a coworker, student or parent, an alleged victim or police officer. During the leave, employers may investigate the situation before determining an appropriate course of action. Administrative leave does not in itself imply that an employee will be disciplined or even that an allegation is credible, which is why pay and benefits are not discontinued. It simply allows the employer to investigate the situation, maintaining the employee's present status while at the same time removing them from the environment, eventually leading to either their return or termination.
Other reasons that an employee may be placed on administrative leave may include protecting sensitive information or resources or to remove an employee who may be behaving disruptively pending assessment of a situation.
Police officers are routinely placed on administrative leave after a shooting incident while an investigation is conducted, without implying fault on the part of the officer.
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