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Handbook of Operating Procedures
Chapter 3 - Staff
Publication Date: August 1, 2008
Responsible Executive: VP for Business Affairs

3.06 Probationary Period For Classified Employees

  1. Purpose

    The probationary period provides a period of time during which it will be determined if the employee’s performance and suitability for the position merit continuation of their employment with the university.  This policy does not apply to Administrative and Professional (A&P) or non-regular (non-benefits eligible) classified employees.

  2. Policy
    1. A newly appointed regular classified employee will be on probation for a period of six (6) continuous calendar months if he or she:
      1. Has no prior service at The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) and whose current appointment is six (6) calendar months or greater; or
      2. Returns to UTSA 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.
    2. Additionally, a temporary employee who is subsequently hired into a regular classified position for which he or she has applied, with or without a break in service, and whose current appointment is six (6) calendar months or greater, will be on probation for six (6) continuous calendar months. The six (6) calendar month probationary period will commence on the day they begin employment as a regular classified employee and not a temporary employee.
    3. A current regular classified employee with six (6) continuous calendar months or more of service with UTSA 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 UTSA without a break in service.
      3. Has an appointment of six (6) continuous calendar months or greater.
  3. Procedures
    1. Computation of Probationary Period.  The probationary period is six (6) calendar months in length from the date of hire. 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 of absence without pay during the probationary period, the probationary period is extended by the same number of days that the employee is on leave.

    2. Orientation. The supervisor or designee(s) in the probationary employee’s work group will conduct a departmental orientation for the probationary employee. During the departmental orientation, the supervisor will discuss the purpose of the probationary period and advise the probationary employee of the length of the probationary period and when it will end.

      The supervisor will provide the probationary employee with a clear description of the job to be performed, develop standards for the job, observe work performance, and provide feedback to the probationary employee.

      The supervisor will ensure that the probationary employee completes New Employee Development training offered by the Human Resources Department.

    3. Evaluation.  Performance evaluation and counseling are based on the concept that proper supervision is not punitive in nature.  It seeks to aid the probationary employee in self-correction and performance improvement.  Throughout the probationary period, the supervisor will provide any assistance considered necessary to improve performance or facilitate adjustment.

      A probationary employee’s performance will be evaluated during the probationary period in accordance with the Handbook of Operating Procedures (HOP) policy 3.01, Annual Non-Faculty Performance Evaluation Program.

    4. Merit Eligibility.  All full-time and part-time (50 percent or greater) regular (benefits eligible) employees who have been continuously employed for at least six months as of August 31st of the preceding fiscal year, will need an appraisal on file with Human Resources in order to be eligible for a merit increase.

    5. Transfer.  A probationary employee is eligible to apply for transfers/promotions within UTSA after the completion of their six (6) calendar month probationary period.

      A probationary employee may request a waiver of the “no transfer” policy. Waiver requests must be submitted in writing (e-mail is accepted) and routed through the employee’s management chain to the director of employee relations. The director’s decision is final.

      Approved waivers of the “no transfer” policy do not waive the probationary period and do not “restart” the probationary period. The probationary period continues until the expiration of the original six (6) calendar months in the new department or position.

      A transfer or promotion within the same department is permissible and does not require a waiver, if the transfer does not result in a change in the immediate supervisor and the employee meets the required qualifications for the position.

    6. Leave.  For specific information regarding authorized leave, including the use of vacation and sick leave, refer to HOP policy 4.20, Authorized Leave.

      Floating Holidays. A probationary employee is eligible to use his or her floating holiday time during their probationary period with prior approval from their immediate supervisor.

    7. Termination. The employment of a probationary employee may be terminated at any time during the probationary period if he or she is determined not to be qualified for the position hired, if his or her performance is not acceptable, or if he or she engages in misconduct as defined by HOP policy 3.03, Discipline and Dismissal of Classified Employees. Any action associated with the termination of a probationary employee should be documented and shall become a part of the employee's personnel file. Prior to termination, the immediate supervisor should consider reviewing the facts of the case with the Employee Relations Department.

    8. Appealing a Termination. Pursuant to HOP policy 3.03 Section A, “Policy and Purpose,” a probationary employee whose employment is terminated during the probationary period may not appeal this decision. Allegations that the termination was for unlawful discrimination will be referred to the Equal Opportunity Services Office.

    9. Grievances. Grievances submitted by a probationary employee will be processed in accordance with HOP policy 3.04, Grievances of Non-Faculty Employees.
    10. Completion of Probationary Period.  Upon completion of the probationary period, a probationary employee will have all privileges of a regular classified employee.  The satisfactory completion of a probationary period does not constitute an implied agreement of continuing employment.  Unless explicitly exempted, all state employees are employed at the will of the State of Texas.