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Probation Period

Is having a probationary period law or just company policy?

There is no federal law (or state law that I’m aware of) that requires employers to have probationary periods for their employees. Probationary periods are a matter of company policy.

Probationary periods can be effective tools for determining an employee’s fit with the company. They can last from 90 days all the way up to a year. During this time, employees are closely monitored to assess their skills, knowledge and compatibility with the company overall. Further, may employers prohibit employees from taking paid time off during the probation period.

Some employers believe a probationary period allows them to terminate an employee more easily. However, this isn’t necessarily true. Most employees are considered at-will. Meaning, the employer can terminate the employee at any time. Thus, critics of probationary periods believe there really is no need for them. Employees’ performance can be assessed and any issues can be addressed at any time throughout employment.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, November 25th, 2015 at 8:30 pm and is filed under
Human Resources Management.
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