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A probation period normally gives the employer a period of time to make sure that the person they appointed to fill the vacancy was the right choice. It is actually an opportunity to evaluate the new employee’s performance, commitment and general suitability for job. Despite thoroughly interviewing and checking references, it is not out of the realm of possibility that your new employee will not be a good fit. Problems during the first several months can range from a personality mismatch to performance issues. Probation period is essentially a trial period for both you and your new employee to determine whether the job match is a good one.
The average probation period is 90 days. This considered as a reasonable amount of time to determine how well the new employee is performing in most jobs, although there should be a standard probationary period of for all employees, 90-day probation period may not be enough time to determine whether the employee fits for the job allocated.
In 2013, most California employers were forced to adapt their traditional 90-day probation periods in order to comport with a state-specific requirement imposing a maximum eligibility waiting period for benefits of 60 days. This actually created a confusing list of choices for California employers who used to provide benefits as a prize for passing a probationary period. However, in 2015, there was a bill that was passed that repealed the 60-day waiting period limit that was previously imposed on certain health insurance plans in California. This means that employers can go back to the 90-day probation period with benefits as a reward for employees who perform well during the probation period.
It is important to note that terminations during probation period can lead to litigation. This is the reason why you should hire carefully and evaluate the new hires promptly. It also important that you document ineffective performance or misconduct even for employees in the first 90 days. You should terminate employees when it is justified. However, if there are no valid reasons, you should not terminate the employees.
There are some helpful tips that help you use probation policies successfully. These include:
- You should notify the employees of the probationary status, how long it will last and so on. You should be clear about your expectations.
- Ensure that you give feedback regularly. You can actually conduct periodic reviews with the employee to provide feedback and counseling.
- Always document everything. This can actually help you to prevent legal trouble in the event of terminating the employee.
If you are an employer in California, you should understand California probationary period so that you can know how you will deal with your new employees. This can help you a great deal.