Purpose of probationary period?

RHELRHEL Member Posts: 195 ■■■□□□□□□□
I'm curious what the purpose of a probationary period is, specifically within an at-will employment state. If an employer (or employee) can legally terminate employment, at will, at any time, why even bother with a probationary period? Consider your probationary period indefinite.

I'm about 11 weeks into a new job and the employer has a 3-month probationary period. Any thoughts? Employees get full benefits from day 1 (except vacation and sick time, which starts at the 6-month mark); however, we also get a week of PTO immediately.

Seems... Unnecessary to me. Maybe more documentation is required to let someone go, even in an at-will employment state, when not under a probationary period. Any thoughts?


  • networker050184networker050184 Mod Posts: 11,962 Mod
    I'm guessing it is probably your last thought about documentation or some kind of legalese I'm not wise on. Usually you aren't going to get benefits until after the probationary period so it's got to be something else in this case.
    An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made.
  • TomkoTechTomkoTech Member Posts: 438
    At-will doesn't preclude them from a wrongful termination law suit. When given the 90 day probationary period(OR however long it is for that company) they can literally terminate you at any time without cause. After that they will needed documented reasons for terminating you for CYA. Yes it is at will, and they may very well have just decided to let the person go, that doesn't stop people from filing frivolous lawsuits in our litigious society. I have never worked anywhere without a probationary period. It just makes good sense to use one.
  • Danielm7Danielm7 Member Posts: 2,310 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Just a guess but maybe they don't have to pay unemployment if let go during probation?
  • thenjdukethenjduke Member Posts: 894 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Danielm7 wrote: »
    Just a guess but maybe they don't have to pay unemployment if let go during probation?

    Good guess but they still need to pay into uneployment for any employee on the books.
    CCNA, MCP, MCSA, MCSE, MCDST, MCITP Enterprise Administrator, Working towards Networking BS. CCNP is Next.
  • colemiccolemic Member Posts: 1,568 ■■■■■■■□□□
    I would say it is to CYA, but also to determine your capabilities that can be difficult to assess in the interview process, such as soft skills, and to see what your work ethic and habits are like (are you perpetually late without a reason? Do you repeatedly blame others for your mistakes? etc.)

    The goal for everyone is to find a place where they can fit in, and that's the company's goal too... they don't want to invest a lot of time training someone in their processes and procedures (and potentially expensive technical training) for someone who ultimately isn't going to pan out.
    Working on: CCSP, definitely, maybe. On the twitters: @mcole1008
  • RaisinRaisin Member Posts: 136
    I think they're just being upfront with new hires that they can be let go if things don't work out. It's more fair to give someone a formal probation period that they can plan around rather than taking them by surprise. In this industry new employees often just don't have what it takes to perform the job.
  • BryzeyBryzey Member Posts: 260
    Probation period is to make sure you are a good fit for the company and can do the job that you were hired to do.

    From your perspective It's also to make sure the company is a good fit for you. It's in place for both parties.

    I wouldn't be worried about it.
  • BryzeyBryzey Member Posts: 260
    Once a person is full time and not on probation they need to be managed out of the company. Generally an agreed upon number(in your policy, contract) of warnings are required before dismissal unless it's gross neglect or something..
  • LionelTeoLionelTeo Member Posts: 526 ■■■■■■■□□□
    Logically speaking, it serve like a safety net for assessing if the person is what he/she claims to be in the resume/interviews before confirming that person as an eventual headcount to the company. After all, there may be loophopes or gaps in hiring process that may have allow someone to gone through by falsifying their experience/qualification.
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