University of Minnesota
Office of Human Resources
http://www.umn.edu/ohr
612-625-2016

Article 7 Probationary Period

Section 1. Intent of Probation

Each employee selected to fill a vacancy for a continuing position or a Temporary posted position shall serve a probationary period which is an extension of the selection procedure. The intent of probation is to give the employee an opportunity to demonstrate his/her ability to perform the duties of the position.

A Department Head may decide to waive an employee's probationary period requirement with written notice to the employee, if the employee is hired to a formerly held classification in which s/he has previously passed probation in the Department.

Any absences without pay shall automatically extend the probationary period. Absence covered by Workers' Compensation will not count towards completion of the probationary period.

Section 2. Six Month Probationary Period

A probationary period of six (6) months shall be served by every employee hired in any continuing or Temporary posted position on an original appointment, promotion, or demotion, and shall be successfully completed before the employee can be given a continuing appointment. A probationary period of employment of six (6) months shall be served by an employee who transfers 1) in the same class between Collegiate/Administrative Units or 2) to a different class.

Should an employee be promoted, including a promotion by reclassification, from a position in which s/he is serving probation to a position in a higher classification in the same department prior to completion of the probation, and the employee subsequently passes probation in the higher class, the employee shall be also considered to have passed probation in the class from which s/he was promoted.

Section 3. Four Month Probation

A four (4) month probationary period shall be required of an employee who has already passed probation in that class in the following situations:

  1. If the employee transfers or bumps to a class in which s/he has previously passed probation but in a different Department in the same Collegiate/Administrative Unit.
  2. If the employee is rehired from the layoff list to a class in which s/he has previously passed probation but not in the rehiring Department.

Section 4. No Probationary Period

No subsequent probationary period shall be required of an employee who:

  1. Is assigned to a different position in the same classification, same Department.
  2. Bumps back into any classification in which the employee has previously passed probation in the same Department.
  3. Is rehired off the layoff list to the same Department in any classification in which s/he has passed probation in the Department.
  4. Is recalled following layoff to the same classification, same Department.
  5. Is reclassified in the position currently occupied and in which position the employee has passed probation.
  6. Has been serving in a temporary posted position in which s/he passed probation and is hired for that position when it is reposted.
  7. A Department Head, at their discretion, may count time worked in a Temporary No Post (TNP) position towards completion of the probationary period, when the employee moves to a posted temporary or continuing appointment which is the same position and classification with no break in service.

Section 5. Probationary Reviews and Rating

During the probationary period, the supervisor shall conduct a minimum of one (1) performance appraisal of the employee's work performance at the approximate midpoint of the probationary period, discuss it with the employee, furnish the employee with a written copy of the evaluation, and provide a copy to the appropriate Human Resources Department. The appraisal shall be based on the job description provided (see Article 9, Section 1.)

Failure to provide the above appraisal(s) does not mean the employee passes probation, nor does such failure extend the period of probation. There is no obligation to provide a performance appraisal if the employee is terminated before the approximate midpoint of the probationary period. An employee on probation may be terminated at any point during the probationary period. An employee who is not on an initial probationary period may have rights to a prior position. (See Section 6 below.)

Section 6. Termination of Probation

If the Department Head or immediate supervisor determines during the probationary period that the employee will not pass probation, the employee shall be given written confirmation with a copy to the appropriate Human Resources Department.

New hires (original appointments) who fail to pass probation shall be discharged. Employees serving a subsequent probationary period shall be given fourteen (14) calendar days notice of failure to pass probation. In both an initial and subsequent probationary period, an employee does not pass probation if s/he is notified in writing of failure to pass probation before the end of the probationary period.

Failure to pass probation may not be grieved. An employee who fails to pass probation may allege a violation of Article 4, Discrimination Prohibition, and may proceed only through Step 3 of Article 21, Settlement of Disputes.

An employee who does not pass probation in a position within or outside the bargaining unit but has held a prior continuing position shall have the right to return to the prior continuing position, if it exists, to the extent permissible under the governing terms and conditions of employment in the bargaining unit where the prior continuing position resides. Before an employee can return to the prior continuing position, the employee must first take a vacancy in the class to which the employee would return, as provided in Article 5, Section 3 (A). If there is no vacancy for which the employee qualifies and can go to based on his/her seniority, then the employee may bump the individual occupying the prior continuing position provided that: (1) s/he has more University seniority than the individual in the position; and (2) the individual occupying the prior continuing position has not passed probation in the position. If there is no vacancy, or if the employee cannot bump as provided above, the returning employee shall go on the layoff list. Any employee about to be bumped because of this provision shall receive seven (7) calendar days' notice.

This return must happen within fourteen (14) calendar days after notifying the Department Head in charge of the prior continuing position, provided the employee:

  1. Has successfully completed the probationary period for the prior continuing position; and
  2. Was promoted or transferred from the prior continuing position; and
  3. Notifies the prior Department Head in writing by the termination date of the currently held probationary position of the intent to return to the prior continuing position.

The prior continuing position referred to is the continuing position an employee last held and in which the employee successfully passed probation, if probation was required, before being transferred or promoted to the position requiring the probationary period.

If the prior continuing position exists, and the employee chooses to return to it in accordance with the above, the employee may be placed on a leave of absence without pay and/or use accrued compensatory time and/or accrued vacation credit during the fourteen (14) day period. Compensatory time shall be paid at the rate earned; vacation pay shall be at the rate of the lower position. Use of paid time does not mean the employee has passed probation; and does not extend the period of probation.

If an employee's prior continuing position no longer exists (has been abolished or reclassified), or if the employee chooses not to return, the employee shall notify the appropriate Human Resources Department of his/her intent to be placed on the layoff list.

S/he must give notification in writing to the appropriate Human Resources Department on or before the anticipated date of discharge from the probationary position.

A probationary employee who is discharged from the University for disciplinary reasons shall forfeit rights to return to the prior position or to the layoff list.