I've been working in an ad agency for a few months now. My probation was due to end last week but it got extended for another month. Here's why:

Lately, my cancer-stricken mom's condition dropped that she required extra assistance at home. This situation drives me to go home on-time from work to spend more time with her. If there's any work I have to finish past my office-hours or deadline I have to catch, I've done so willingly from home.

My supervisor mentioned she had no problem with my performance and work outcome. However, she expressed concern of my inability to stay later at the office, as there may be some work that required me to be on the site (e.g: brainstorming and such).

Ad agencies are known for their rigorous work culture such as client revisions that come later in the day, deadlines to be completed in such a period of time requiring the team to pull an all-nighter. My supervisor expresses concern that my situation wouldn't be able to accommodate the company's needs, thus extending my probation.

My question is: is it fair for her to extend my probation due to my personal situation? I understand families come first but my mom motivated me to work in this company in the first place, because that makes her feel content. I'm afraid to risk this job if it only disappoints her.

  • 1
    What's the locality? – sleddog Jun 26 '17 at 17:29
  • 5
    Fair isnt really something we can answer to. If there isnt anything in your employment contract saying they cant, they can. Fair does not enter into it. – JasonJ Jun 26 '17 at 17:34
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    During most probationary periods, you can be released without any reason what so ever. The fact you were given an extended probation time beats the alternative. – Mister Positive Jun 26 '17 at 17:36
  • I think it's more than fair, imho. They may be sympathetic that you have problems to work around, but the reality is that they're not the company's problems. They're yours. Families do come first. To you. Not to the company. I think extending your probation was very kind. You should see it for what it is, a statement that they want to keep you but that you need to be available after hours. If that's not feasible for you, then you're not suited at that company. They could have just let you go but they want to give you a chance to decide if it's the right company for you. – Chris E Jun 26 '17 at 18:09
  • "However, she expressed concern of my inability to stay later at the office, as there may be some work that required me to be on the site (e.g: brainstorming and such)." - Your response to this concern was that, you are more then willing to be at those brainstorming sessions before you leave for the day, right? You are being told that you are expected to be at those, brainstorming sessions, and your absence likely has been noticed. – Donald Jun 26 '17 at 18:11

My question is: is it fair for her to extend my probation due to my personal situation?

It seems unfair to me. But I'm not sure what the alternative is.

If the alternative is to let you go, then extending your probation to see if your situation changes is rather kind.

If the alternative is to just give you the job and not worry that you may not be able to accommodate the company's needs, then it's a bit unfair.

I'm sure you understand the norms of ad agencies better than I do and can get a better sense of which of the two alternatives is more likely. If you haven't already done so, sit down with your manager, explain the situation with your mom and where you see that going, and see if there is some accommodation that can be made.

Always remember, you can also choose to look for another job - perhaps one that won't require you to stay late. I'm sure your mom would understand.


Instead of leaving early, can you go in later and stay later (i.e. stay with Mom in the mornings, maybe share with her the ideas you have for the day, get her involved too by asking her advice)?

Then, you can stay later to meet the needed brainstorming AND report back to your mom the next morning if any of her advice worked for that day.

If that is possible, the company gets what it needs and so do you.


It's more than fair, as they could absolutely fail you due to performance issues and then give you your walking papers.

I've been in the same situation, so while I'm not unsympathetic, we cannot expect our employers to put themselves out on our behalf.

Fair? Yes. In fact more than fair. Be grateful, and get any and all help you need to make sure you can dedicate yourself to the job so that you can get out of the probationary term.

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