You can learn a lot about an employee during the first few weeks. Missing work then probably means attendance will be a problem later. Having stricter rules during the initial probationary period will help you weed out problem employees.
Recent case: William Lake, who is black, worked for Yellow Transportation as a probationary employee. The company told him he could not be absent or tardy for 30 days. He arrived late at least twice, and Yellow terminated him.
Lake sued, alleging race discrimination. He pointed out that regular-status white employees who missed work had kept their jobs. The court didn’t buy the comparison, saying he had to compare himself to probationary white employees to prove discrimination. There was no evidence the company treated probationary employees differently based on race. (Lake v. Yellow Transportation, No. 07-CV-03038, DC MN, 2009)
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