Probationary Periods Don’t Protect You From Unemployment Liability

XDMB0IC7TXWe’ve heard a number of managers refer to probationary periods and make statements such as “we can terminate them within the first 90 days of employment because they’re in a probationary period.”  Even in an at will employment relationship (for the states which recognize at will employment), termination during a probationary period could still result in potential liability for your company in the event of an unemployment claim or other lawsuit (discrimination, harassment, etc).

Whether an employee has worked for your company for 1 day or 10 years, there is still potential liability.  For example, in Michigan, the wages for the last five quarters at all jobs the employee has worked are used when determining benefit eligibility.  So even if the person was only employed by your company for two weeks or two days, they could still be eligible for benefits if their wages from all employers in the last five quarters meet the minimum threshold.

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