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14 june 2015 FOGHORN LEGAL By Steven E. Bers Esq. PVA General Counsel W h e n a d v i s i n g v e s s e l employers on employ- ment policies I am fre- quently presented with the question How long should the probation- ary period be Employers are sometimes surprised when I tell them It really doesnt matter followed by . . . so long as it is actually utilized. Indeed whether the probationary period is 30 days 60 days or three months whatever period is adequate to demonstrate skill acquisition and work habits the most important issue is whether the employer actually acts to realize the benefit that a disciplined probation- ary period can provide. It is not uncommon when advising an employer concerning a termination decision to hear the employer remark that the employee should have been terminated long ago. Often the characteristics that cause the termination are the same ones which could have been readily identified at the time the person was a new employee. Many employers create probationary period policies yet fail to utilize these periods for the intended benefit. So what are the benefits First basic fairness the employee is placed on notice not to assume that he or she in fact has a long term job so the employee is on notice not to rush out Lets Discuss Employee Probationary Periods