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Jan03

Offer Letter & 90 day Probation Period

Can an employee be fired/laid off prior to 90 days for not producing if the offer letter has a 90 day probation clause?

Most states consider the employer-employee relationship to be at-will unless stated otherwise in a collective bargaining agreement or employment contract. At-will basically means that either an employer or employee can terminate the relationship with or without cause or notice.

An offer letter is not an employment contract. It doesn’t guarantee an individual a job. Its purpose is to explain in writing basic information for the position. Most offer letters contain standard employment information like job title, start date, compensation, basic benefit information and any contingencies for continued employment such as completion of a background check.

Probation periods are often included in offer letters as well. A probationary period is basically a trial period during which the employer assesses the employee’s skills and capabilities to perform the job. A probation period doesn’t guarantee employment for any specified length of time.

So, unless the clause in the offer letter specifically states that the employee will not be terminated for at least 90 days, then, yes, an employee can be terminated for any non-discriminatory reason at any time during the probationary period.

This entry was posted on Sunday, January 3rd, 2016 at 7:28 pm and is filed under
Termination.
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