What does it mean to be hired on probation?

An employer might offer you a job “on probation”. Probation is like a trial period so they can decide if they want to keep you in the job. Probation is often 3 to 6 months but could be longer.

You're on probation only if you agree to an employment contract or accept a job offer that says you'll be on probation for a specific period of time.

Getting benefits and being on probation

If your employer provides benefits, like paying for prescription drugs or dental care, you might not be able to get them until your probation ends.

Getting fired while on probation

An employer might tell you that if they fire you while you're on probation, you have no legal rights. But you do have rights when you're on probation.

For example, the (ESA) says that if you get fired after working more than 3 months in a row your employer has to give you:

  • , or

Giving you notice of termination means that your employer tells you in writing that your job will be ending on a certain date.

If your employer doesn't do this, they owe you termination pay when they fire you or end your job. This means paying you what you would have earned during the period of time covered by the written notice.

The minimum amount of notice you should get depends on how long you've worked for your employer. For example, the ESA says that if you've worked more than 3 months but less than a year, you get one week's notice.

But you might not have the right to get notice if your employer has a good reason under the law to fire you without notice.

Human rights while on probation

You're still covered by human rights laws while you're on probation. So, if you're fired for a reason that goes against human rights laws, such as being pregnant, you may be able to make a human rights claim.

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