SYSTEM REGULATIONS


33.99.02 Probation

March 7, 1997, Revised December 2, 1997, Revised April 23, 1998, Revised May 30, 2001


1. INTRODUCTION

1.1 The System provides a probationary period for new employees in all nonfaculty positions. This period allows time for adjustment on the job and an opportunity for the employee and employer to determine whether the employment relationship should continue.
1.2 During the probationary period, the supervisor has an opportunity to determine if the employee has the skills and abilities necessary to perform the duties required in the new position.
1.3 The satisfactory completion of a probationary period does not constitute an agreement of continuing employment for an unlimited period.

2. GENERAL

2.1 All appointments to nonfaculty positions in the System are considered probationary for the first six months of actual work, except appointments to certified police officer positions, which are probationary for 12 months. Other exceptions to the six-month period that can be justified based on health and safety issues may be authorized by the Chancellor. Probation begins on the first day at work in the new job.
2.2 Probation generally does not apply to graduate assistants or wage employees. These employees serve at will and may be dismissed at any time for any reason.
2.3 A rehired former employee must satisfy a new probationary period upon re-employment. Employees who are on leave without pay or who use sick leave pool hours during their probationary period will have the probationary period extended by the amount of time taken for the leave.
2.4 Probationary employees may not transfer or be promoted to another position for at least three months. Exceptions to the three-month restriction may be granted by the CEO or designee. If more than one component is involved, both CEOs or their designees must approve the transfer or promotion.
2.5 If the employee transfers or is promoted to a different position within the System before the six-month period is completed, an additional period of probation may be required. In such circumstances, the new supervisor should prepare a written statement describing an additional probationary period of specified duration, and the employee should acknowledge this requirement by signing the statement. A copy of this agreement should be filed in the employee's official personnel file. The full term of probation will not exceed nine months.
2.6 When an employee who has completed a probationary period transfers or is promoted to a new position, a new probationary period, not to exceed three months, may be required if the employee does not have proven experience and efficiency in the knowledge and skills required for the new position. An employee transferring to a certified police officer position will have a 12-month probation period unless the employee had previously served as a System certified police officer. In such situations, the employee and the new supervisor will agree in writing to the length of the probationary period. A copy of this document should be placed in the employee's official personnel file.
2.7 A probationary period may also be established as part of the disciplinary process described in System Regulation 32.02.02.

3. PERFORMANCE APPRAISAL DURING THE PROBATIONARY PERIOD

3.1 Any inappropriate conduct or unsatisfactory performance during the probationary period should be communicated to the employee and documented with a written memo to the employee's official personnel file immediately after occurrence. The communication to the employee may be oral or written and should include guidance as to how behavior or performance can be improved and a reasonable period (not to extend beyond the probationary period) during which the behavior or performance must be corrected.
3.2 Before the end of the fourth month of the probationary period, the employee's job performance will be evaluated by the supervisor and discussed with the employee. For certified police officers or others on a 12-month probationary period, a second performance evaluation will be conducted before the end of the 10th month of the probationary period. This evaluation(s) will address areas of satisfactory and, if applicable, unsatisfactory performance with specific written guidance as to the means by which performance can be improved. The evaluation will:
(1) ensure that the supervisor has taken reasonable steps to inform the employee of what is expected and how it should be done and
(2) provide the employee with ample opportunity to correct any job-related problems before the end of the probationary period.

4. DISMISSAL DURING THE PROBATIONARY PERIOD

4.1 At any point during the probationary period an employee may be dismissed from employment without cause. In most cases, the employee should be given two weeks' notice, but dismissal may be immediate if the department head believes immediate dismissal to be in the best interest of the employer. Dismissal may not be based on:
(1) prohibited discrimination because of race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, veteran status, or physical or mental disabilities not related to the job;
(2) retaliation for the lawful exercise of First Amendment rights;
(3) filing a workers' compensation claim;
(4) becoming a member of a union;
(5) being on active duty in the state militia;
(6) being on jury duty;
(7) reporting, in good faith, a violation of law to an appropriate law enforcement agency;
(8) refusing to commit an illegal act; or
(9) the employer's desire to avoid contributing to or paying benefits under the employee's retirement fund or other benefit programs. Dismissals may not be appealed except as described in Section 6 of this regulation.
4.2 The progressive discipline procedures outlined in System Regulation 32.02.02 are not available for probationary employees.
4.3 It is the responsibility of the immediate supervisor or the head of the administrative unit to notify the employee of the dismissal. The same level of approval is required for dismissal as for appointment.
4.4 Copies of all documents pertaining to the dismissal action will be filed in the employee's official personnel file and be made available for review by the employee at reasonable times in the presence of a designated staff member.

5. DESTRUCTION OF CRIMINAL HISTORY INFORMATION

After the expiration of the probationary term of employment in a security sensitive position, all criminal history information that may have been obtained on the employee in the application process will be destroyed by the chief security officer of the component. (See System Regulation 33.99.14.)

6. METHOD OF APPEAL IF DISCRIMINATION OR RETALIATION IS ALLEGED

Persons who allege that dismissal during the probationary period has occurred for an impermissible reason (described in 4.1) must present written data or documentation of the specific actions or basis of the allegation to the component Affirmative Action Officer (for item 1 in paragraph 4.1) or the component Human Resources Officer (for items 2 through 9 in paragraph 4.1) within 10 working days from the date of termination notice. Upon receipt of this documentation, the appropriate office will investigate the complaint and issue a written report of findings to the CEO, or designee, for approval. The dismissed employee and relevant department head will receive a copy of the approved report within 14 working days of CEO, or designee, approval.

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CONTACT FOR INTERPRETATION: The System Human Resources Office

HISTORY: Last issued: April 23, 1998

Component Rules relating to this document