Can my employer extend my probationary period without just cause?

UPDATED: Oct 19, 2011

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Can my employer extend my probationary period without just cause?

My HR department with my new employer decided to extend my 90 day probationary period without just cause. They are claiming that my emails and phone communication were insubordinate but I don’t see how they were. They were professional and too the point but the accountant that complained of this wants them to be more “fluffy” and bubbly yet she uses improper grammar and spelling. I am not slacking on my work and have actually decreased the amount of delinquent receivables that the previous person in my position never accomplished and he only got a slap of the wrist.

Asked on October 19, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Texas


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Do you have an actual employment contract with your employer? If you do, and it address the probationary period and moving off the probationary period, you may enforce its terms--though note that if you and the employer disagree on the specific meaning of terms, or how the factual situation and your performance fits those terms, then the only way to enfoce the contract would be by litigation (a lawsuit), which may or may not be worth it.

If you do not have an employment contract, you are an employee at will. Since an employer may terminate an employee at will at any time, for any reason, it can do anything short of termination--such as extend a probationary period. In this case, you would  only have recourse if you can show that the unfavorable decision was due to discrimination against you because of race, sex, religion, age over 40, or disability.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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