Today I was placed on administrative leave because my Ops manager came into the place where I was having lunch with another employee and saw me drinking what appeared to be beer.
At the time he did not ask what it was or even make mention of having it, rather he waited until I was back at work for over an hour and in the middle of a retail job for a customer who was waiting to call me into the LGM's office. He had me sit down and said that I could either "tell him what he already knows he saw or....." to which I replied that I did have a beer-like substance and I stated that it was non-alcoholic, and that the employee with me would testify to that. I was then asked to put my statement in writing, where I acknowledged that I understood how the company image could be afftected and made assurances that it would not happen again.
I was asked to wait for a few minutes in the break room while he and the LGM "partnered" with the HR department and after about 10 minutes I was back in the LGM's office. I was told that I was on paid administrative leave pending further investigation because my story "didn't add up" in the LGM's words. I asked what the problem was and she stated that they were "fairly certain I was drinking beer". She added that I was to remain at home until the following Monday until 3 pm unless I was called in sooner.
I was not asked to take a sobriety test of any kind, and at that point they had not yet spoken with the other employee that was with me at lunch. Up until today I really liked my job and felt I finally found something secure, but being treated like a child was completely insulting.
I have had no corrective actions against me, and I was made the Store Champion this month for doing such great work. To top it all off, I just had my APR (annual performance review) and received one of the highest scores of all the Ops team!
Dare I mention that I have personally seen other employees (managers included) who have had beer at lunch when in uniform? At this point I am unsure whether I am merely suspended or going to be fired but I am taking no chances. I have already sent out 2 applications online with other companies and hope to hear back soon, which is next to impossible in this economy but must be done.
The Ops manager is new and has already demonstrated that he is on somewhat of a power-trip with others, although I have not seen it myself other than some of the things he says or the way he handles employee concerns.
After reading some of the other complaints on this website, I guess I shouldn't be surprised if they send me packing. Has anyone else ever dealt with anything like this, and if so, how did you handle it and were you successful?