4.15.1 Probationary Period for Classified Employees

A. Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to provide a period of time during which an employee’s performance and suitability for the position will merit continuation of their employment with the University of Texas at Tyler (UT Tyler).

B. Authority/Persons Affected

The University of Texas System Board of Regents’ Rules and Regulations Rule 30501, Employee Evaluations 

HOP 4.16.4 Discipline and Dismissal of Classified Employees 

Persons affected: This policy applies to all newly employed regular classified staff employees with UT Tyler. This policy does not apply to Administrative and Professional (A&P) or positions that require a student status.

C. Definitions

Classified Employee: Staff employees who are not appointed as faculty members or as administrative or professional employees. 

Regular Employee: An employee appointed to work 20 hours or more per week for a period of four and one-half consecutive months or longer.

D. Policy and Procedures

Policy

All newly appointed regular classified employees are required to satisfy a probationary period of six (6) continuous months from the beginning date of employment. The probationary period is used for observation and evaluation of the newly appointed classified employee’s work performance by the employee’s supervisor to ensure the probationary employee’s performance, ability, willingness, and dependability merit continued employment at UT Tyler at the end of the probationary period. During the probationary period, the supervisor will carefully evaluate the employee’s performance and suitability for continued employment.

  1. The probationary period is six (6) months in length and is counted in whole calendar months if the employee begins an appointment on the first of the month. If the employee begins on any other day of the month then six months from that date is counted. For example, if an employee begins employment on September 15, the probationary period will end on March 15. Any scheduled holidays that occur during the probationary period are considered as part of the probationary period. If an employee is placed on leave without pay during the probationary period, then the probationary period is extended by the same number of days that the employee is on leave.
  2. A newly appointed regular classified employee will serve a probationary period if he or she:
    1. Has no prior service at UT Tyler and whose current appointment is six (6) calendar months or greater; or
    2. Returns to UT Tyler after a break in service of one (1) or more work days and whose appointment is six (6) calendar months or greater; or
    3. Transfers from another State of Texas agency or public institution of higher education regardless of having already satisfied a Probationary Period at that agency or institution and whose current appointment is six (6) calendar months or greater.
  3. A temporary employee who is hired into a regular classified position, with or without a break in service, and whose current appointment is six (6) calendar months or greater, will serve a probationary period. The probationary period will commence on the day they begin employment as a regular classified employee and not a temporary employee.
  4. A current regular classified employee with six (6) continuous calendar months or more of service with UT Tyler will not serve a probationary period if he or she:
    1. Has completed his or her probationary period.
    2. Has been promoted or transferred within UT Tyler without a break in service.
    3. Has an appointment of six (6) continuous calendar months or greater.
  5. The probationary period is used for the supervisor’s observation of a new employee’s work performance and to permit the employee to adjust to the job and working conditions. Throughout this period, the immediate supervisor shall provide any assistance considered necessary to improve performance or facilitate adjustments.
  6. Employees returning from military service and employees reinstated as a result of a formal grievance are not required to complete a new probationary period if they previously completed a successful probationary period.
  7. Upon completion of the probationary period, an employee shall have all privileges of a regular classified employee.
  8. UT Tyler may terminate the employment of any probationary employee for any reason, with or without cause, that does not violate federal or Texas law. 

Procedures

  1. OrientationThe immediate supervisor or designee(s) in the employee’s work group will conduct a departmental orientation for the new employee. During the departmental orientation, the immediate supervisor will discuss the purpose of the probationary period and advise the employee of the length of the probationary period and when it will end.
  2. Expected Performance Standards.  The immediate supervisor will provide the new employee with a clear description of the job to be performed, develop standards for the job, observe work performance, and provide feedback to the employee.
  3. Performance Appraisals.  The immediate supervisor should evaluate the work performance of a probationary employee after 90 days and again before the end of the six-month probationary period. Supervisors will conduct the performance appraisal for employees utilizing the performance management tools available from the Office of Human Resources. Information about the employee’s performance should be documented and submitted to the Office of Human Resources for inclusion in the employee’s personnel file.
  4. Leave.
    1. Any leave without pay, if approved, taken by an employee during the probationary period will extend the probationary period by an equal amount of time.
    2. A probationary employee accrues vacation leave and sick leave from the date of employment. However, vacation leave may not be used until completion of the probationary period, unless the employee has already met the statutory requirement for at least six months’ continuous state service prior to use of the leave.
  5. Termination.  
    1. UT Tyler may terminate the employment of any probationary employee who fails to maintain satisfactory work performance standards or fails to maintain suitable and acceptable standards of conduct.
    2. Before termination, the immediate supervisor must review the facts of the case with the Office of Human Resources, which will review the proposed action with the immediate supervisor and appropriate Vice President or designee of the department. 
    3. An employee terminated during the probationary period does not have access to the discipline and dismissal policies and procedures found at HOP 1.16.4, Discipline and Dismissal of Classified Employees. Should there be  allegations that the termination was for unlawful discrimination, the employee may appeal the termination by submitting a grievance. Grievances submitted by a probationary employee will be processed in accordance with HOP 4.19.1 Non-Faculty Employees Grievance Policy and Procedures. 
  6. Deadline for Action to Terminate.  If an immediate supervisor determines that a probationary employee will not be retained beyond the probationary period, he or she must have termination action initiated and completed prior to the end of the probationary period.

E. Responsibilities

See Policy and Procedures section.

F. Review

This policy shall be reviewed by Human Resources every five years or as legislation changes.

AMENDED:  02/2019