Classified Probationary Periods

Responsible Office: Human Resources

Policy Type: Personnel and Payroll

Policy Number: 626

Lsat Date Revised: 12/16/16

GENERAL

When newly appointed to a classified Civil Service title, an employee is subject to a probationary period.  The intent of the probationary period is to provide employees with an initial learning and adjustment period while allowing the supervisor to evaluate their performance, attitudes and potential.  It is essential that employees display those skills and abilities that are required for their position.  If they do, permanent status in the title is confirmed.  If not, after reasonable efforts for improvement, termination from the position should result.

Failure to notify an employee of termination in a timely manner will result in automatic permanent status after completion of the maximum probationary term.  Notification is extremely important due to the severe constraint Civil Service regulations impose on a supervisor’s freedom to terminate a marginal or unsatisfactory employee after the probationary period has ended. 

POLICY

Probationary evaluations occur periodically over the course of the probationary period.  They are separate and distinct from the Annual Performance Evaluation.

Extension of the probationary period to the maximum limit is generally recommended for most newly appointed employees to support a more valid evaluation.  The period should not be extended for marginal employees with little or no chance for improvement.  A prompt termination serves the best interest of the employee, as well as his/her co-workers and the University.  Employment may be terminated at any time after eight weeks.

Effective decisions, however, can be made only if performance is evaluated regularly and objectively.  This will give an employee a fair chance to improve.  Evaluations have meaning to an employee only if they are shared with them.

Discussions of performance are useful when the supervisor allows for two-way communication, privacy and sufficient time.  Employees can respond with improved performance or changed behavior only if they know where and how they must devote their efforts. 

To assist the supervisors in making an objective decision, a “Probationary Evaluation” form has been developed.  It may be used as a guide for any discussion of performance.  It is to be completed at specific times during the probationary period, and in accordance with Civil Service Rules, as follows:

1. New Appointments

Every permanent appointment from an open competitive list, and original appointment to a non-competitive, exempt or labor class position has a probationary period of 26 weeks minimum to 52 weeks maximum.

The Human Resources Office will supply supervisors with a Probationary Period Evaluation form to complete at intervals of 11 weeks, 24 weeks, 37 weeks and 52 weeks.

2. Promotions and Transfers

Every promotion or transfer from another State agency, or another State University unit, has a probationary period as follows:

a.  for positions at SG-13 and below- a period of 8-26 weeks.  The Human Resources Office will supply supervisors with a Probationary Period Evaluation form to complete at intervals of 6 weeks, 14 weeks and 24 weeks.

b. for positionsat SG-14 and above- a period of 12-52 weeks.  The Human Resources Office will supply supervisors with a Probationary Period Evaluation form to complete at intervals of 11 weeks, 24 weeks, 37 weeks and 50 weeks.

3. Reinstatement

Every reinstatement has the same probationary period as required for a new appointment.

4. Reassignment within the University

A reassignment (no title change) of a permanent employee within this University unit has NO probationary period. 

5. Reassignment During Probation

A probationary employee, unsuitable in one position, may have the potential to be satisfactory in another.  If reassigned to a new position, the employee has a new probationary period of 12-26 weeks.  Evaluations will be sent to the supervisor at 11 and 24 weeks. 

6. Trainee Appointments

Every appointment to a “trainee” title has a probationary period equal to the length of the traineeship. 

Procedure:

a.      The supervisor must complete the form, make a recommendation, meet with the employee to discuss it, both the employee and supervisor sign the form, give him/her a copy of the form, and return it to Human Resources through channels by the due date. 

b. It is strongly recomended to continue employees on probation for the entire probationary period.

c. Any periods of unauthorized or authorized absence during the probationary term aggregating up to 10 workdays if the term is less than 26 weeks, or up to 20 workdays if the term is greater than 26 weeks, may, at the discretion of the University, be considered as time served in the probationary term.  Any periods of absence in excess of these minimums may not be considered as time served.  Accordingly, the minimum and maximum periods of the probationary term must be extended by the number of workdays of absence. 

d. If termination is being recommended, the supervisor must review the details of the evaluation with Human Resources before discussing it with the employee as far in advance as possible.  The employee must receive written notice at least one week prior to such termination and, upon request, will be granted an interview with Human Resources. 

Contacts:

Senior Associate Director of Human Resources , 7-4939
Associate Vice President for Human Resources, 7-2187

Last Updated: 12/16/16