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

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 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.


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