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Policy

Probationary Period

This policy applies to: All staff in nonexempt hourly paid job classifications. (Individuals represented by collective bargaining agreements receive benefits in accordance with those agreements.)

I. Policy

The purpose of the probationary period is to provide supervisors the opportunity to evaluate a new or transferred employee’s ability to acclimate to the organization’s culture, to assess general working habits (punctuality, attendance, working relationships, etc.), and to evaluate the employee’s ability to meet performance standards. All staff who are newly hired or have transferred from another position within the University, will begin their probationary period on the day they start in their new position. In addition to providing training and communicating the expectations to be met, the supervisor must make the employee aware of the length of the probationary period and provide regular and frequent performance feedback. The employee should take the initiative to ask questions whenever clarification is needed. Note: All staff in Professional, Administrative and Supervisory (PAS) job classifications (including those paid hourly) have a one year introductory period.

II. Guidelines

A. Length of the Probationary Period

The probationary period is six (6) months for all staff in nonexempt hourly paid job classifications, unless represented by a collective bargaining agreement.

  1. A supervisor may elect to end the probationary period at any point within the six-month period if the employee is fully and satisfactorily meeting job requirements.
  2. A newly hired (to the University) employee not demonstrating satisfactory progress in learning and performing the job duties, who does not demonstrate satisfactory working habits, or who is exhibiting misconduct may be terminated (see Corrective Discipline Policy #154).

B. Extensions

The probationary period may be extended for one 30-day period if an employee has failed to make the progress normally expected. Extensions are applicable only in instances where it is felt that sufficient progress will be made within the 30-day period to warrant retention. Extensions should not be utilized to allow additional time for correction of misconduct. Supervisors should consult with the Office of Human Resources before deciding to extend a probationary period.

C. Performance Evaluation and Pay Increases

Staff in nonexempt hourly paid job classifications shall receive a performance evaluation upon successful completion of the probationary period. Changes in salary resulting from the successful completion of probation shall be in accordance with the current Wage and Salary Guidelines.

D. Transfer

All staff members in nonexempt hourly paid job classifications who have completed their probationary period may apply for any posted vacancy within the University. Staff members must have a record of at least satisfactory performance in order to be considered for promotion or transfer. Staff in nonexempt hourly paid job classifications who have not completed their probationary period in their present position, or PAS staff (including those paid hourly) who have not completed one year in their present position, must receive permission from their supervisor to seek a promotion or transfer before submitting a resume to a department.

III. Procedures

A. A performance evaluation shall be conducted when an employee successfully completes the probationary period.

B.

  1. If an employee is eligible to receive a pay increase, the supervisor should complete the employee’s Personnel Action Form (PAF), forward the PAF, with performance evaluation attached, to the appropriate Dean, Director or Vice President for approval, and then to HR Service Center.
  2. Written requests for exceptions to guidelines must be approved by the Office of Human Resources.
  3. Supervisors must not inform employees of any recommended increase in wages until all necessary approvals and authorizations have been obtained.

C. If a probationary period is to be extended, written notification, including reason(s), must be given to the employee and copies sent to the employee’s personnel file and the Office of Human Resources.

D. Failure to Meet Standards

It is the responsibility of the supervisor to take specific steps when an employee is not meeting performance standards or is exhibiting inappropriate behavior:

  1. Through counseling, the employee should be informed of performance deficiencies, or inappropriate conduct, and given an opportunity to make correction.
  2. If uncorrected, the supervisor must meet with the employee to clarify the standards and expectations, changes required, and consequences of failure to correct the problem.
  3. The employee must be given reasonable time to demonstrate correction of inappropriate behavior or ability to meet standards. For guidance in dealing with an unsatisfactory probationary employee, contact the Office of Human Resources.
  4. Documentation, which may be in the form of a written warning or confirming memo, that the employee has been informed of failure to meet standards and of the potential consequence, must be provided. The documentation must be addressed to the employee and must include descriptions of the performance and/or behavior problems as well as the required corrections.
    1. If the employee is subsequently terminated due to failure to meet standards, a copy of this documentation is to be attached to the PAF. The supervisor should keep notes documenting the dates and subjects of any counseling sessions.
    2. A newly hired probationary employee who is terminated may not use the University’s Grievance procedure to grieve the termination.

See also:

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