Is it less risky to terminate a new hire within his or her first 90 days of employment?

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No. A 60- or 90-day orientation period (aka, introductory period, training period or probationary period) does not provide additional protection from the risks associated with termination.

For all terminations, employers should be able to articulate the reason for termination and show clear documentation to support this decision. Whether performance or conduct issues occur in the first few weeks after hire or months later, the need to document these issues is ongoing. State and federal employment laws still apply; there are no provisions in these laws that alleviate compliance during an introduction period.

Employers should address concerns about performance, attendance or behavior early in the employment relationship. Overlooking problems may cause employees to believe their performance is acceptable, thus making later disciplinary action seem unfair, discriminatory or retaliatory.

Prior to termination, employers should consider whether new hires have been given the appropriate training and resources to be successful as well as the opportunity to correct mistakes. 


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