- Date: 15th century
- 1 : the act of suspending : the state or period of being suspended: as a : temporary removal (as from office or privileges)
- b : temporary withholding (as of belief or decision)
- c : temporary abrogation of a law or rule
- d (1) : the holding over of one or more musical tones of a chord into the following chord producing a momentary discord and suspending the concord which the ear expects; specifically : such a dissonance which resolves downward — compare anticipation, retardation (2) : the tone thus held over
- e : stoppage of payment of business obligations : failure —used especially of a business or a bank
- f : a rhetorical device whereby the principal idea is deferred to the end of a sentence or longer unit
- b (1) : the state of a substance when its particles are mixed with but undissolved in a fluid or solid (2) : a substance in this state (3) : a system consisting of a solid dispersed in a solid, liquid, or gas usually in particles of larger than colloidal size — compare emulsion
- 3 : something suspended
- 4 : the means by which something is suspended; especially : the system of devices (as springs) supporting the upper part of a vehicle on the axles
Suspension is a common practice in the workplace for being in violation of company policy. Work suspensions occur when a business manager or supervisor deems an action of an employee, whether intentional or unintentional, to be a violation of policy that should result in a course of punishment, and when the employee's absence during the suspension period does not hurt the company. This form of action hurts the employee because s/he will have no hours of work for the period s/he is suspended for and therefore will not get paid, unless the suspension is with pay, or is challenged and subsequently overturned. Some jobs, which pay on salary, may have paid suspensions, in which the affected worker will be barred from coming to work but will still receive pay. Generally, suspensions are deemed most effective if the affected worker remains unpaid. Suspensions are usually given after other means of counseling statements have been exhausted, but some violations may result in immediate suspension. Suspensions are tracked, and any number of them, even one may prevent one from receiving raises, bonuses or promotions, or could cause dismissal from the company.
Suspension on full pay can also be used when an employee needs to be removed from the workplace to avoid prejudicing an investigation. This is used not as a punishment, but in the employer's best interest. For example, a police officer who shoots a person while on duty will be given a suspension with pay during the investigation not to punish but to enable the department to carry out its investigation. Most officers involved in such shootings end up receiving no punishment.