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Are we required to have an introductory period for new employees?

Question: Are we required to have an introductory period for new employees?

Answer from Kim, SPHR, AAM, CPIW:

No. Some employers call the first few weeks or months of an employee’s time with the company an introductory period, but this designation has no bearing on the rights employers or employees have. An introductory period doesn’t reduce the risks of termination (you should still have a good business reason and documentation) or mean that an employee let go during that time won’t get unemployment insurance.

That said, the first few weeks and months are incredibly important for ensuring a long tenure. Multiple studies show that a good number of new hires quit within the first 90 days because their experience wasn’t what they wanted or expected. Turnover is costly, so investing time and resources in onboarding, orientation, and training new hires helps set them up for long-term success and saves you money.

In short, while there’s no legal requirement to having an introductory period, there is a huge financial benefit to delivering a great employee experience during these first weeks and months.

This Q&A does not constitute legal advice and does not address state or local law.

Kim has held many Senior level HR positions including VP of HR and Administration for a California-based Workers’ Compensation TPA, Director of HR for a benefit and risk management company, and board positions with a professional insurance association. Kim spends her free time tracking down her grown sons.

Legal Disclaimer: On-Time Payroll (OTP) is not engaged in the practice of law. The content in this post should not be construed as legal advice, and does not create an attorney-client relationship. If you have legal questions concerning your situation or the information you have obtained, you should consult with a licensed attorney. OTP cannot be held legally accountable for actions related to its receipt.


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