02.A.18 – Probationary Period for Regular Staff Employees
Section: Human Resources
1.1. The University of Houston System requires an initial probationary period for all new benefits‑eligible staff employees. This probationary period allows time for adjustment on the job and an opportunity to determine whether it will be in the best interests of the employee and the employer for the employment relationship to continue. 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 position, and the new employee may assess whether a working relationship should continue. In addition, this can be a time to identify training needs and begin the training process.
1.2. This administrative memorandum applies to all new benefits‑eligible staff employees.
2.1. The initial six (6) months of employment at each university for each non-exempt, staff employee is probationary. The initial twelve (12) months of employment for each exempt staff employee is probationary. Police officers, although non-exempt, will serve a twelve-month probationary period. During the probationary period, the supervisor will monitor the employee's performance to determine whether employment should continue.
2.2. The initial six (6) months of employment for each non-exempt benefits‑eligible staff employee or the initial twelve (12) months of employment for each exempt benefits‑eligible staff employee who returns to employment at a university following an interruption of service with the same university is also probationary, unless the employee is reinstated in the same position within less than six months after a reduction‑in‑force. An employee returning from an approved leave of absence is not subject to this probationary provision, unless the leave began before the end of the employee's initial probationary period as addressed in Section 3.2 of this document.
2.3. At any time during a probationary period, an employee may be dismissed with or without cause, without application of the discipline and dismissal procedures, except that any such dismissal may not be based on illegal discrimination or retaliation.
3. POLICY PROVISIONS
3.1. Probation begins on the first day of work. To ensure continuity of assessment during probation, a new employee may not apply for or transfer to a new position, or be hired or transferred to another area of supervision until the conclusion of the six‑month, or twelve‑month, probationary period. Exceptions to this restriction may be granted by the Chief Human Resources Officer, or the designated official, of the employing university on a case‑by‑case basis; however, written documentation of the reason for any such exception must be placed in the employee's official personnel file in the human resources department.
3.2. The probationary period of an employee who is allowed or required to take leave of absence during probation will be extended by the amount of time taken for the leave.
3.3. The initial probationary period may not be extended, except as a result of transfer during probation as covered in Section 3.1, or as the result of a leave of absence as covered in Section 3.2.
3.4. If the employee is determined by the supervisor to be unsuitable for continued employment during the probationary period, the employment relationship should be terminated as soon as possible after that determination is made.
3.5. Heads of departments may authorize dismissal of probationary employees after consultation with the chief human resources officer. A department head will then give the employee written notice of dismissal and its effective date and time. A dismissed probationary employee is not entitled to contest dismissal unless evidence can be presented to indicate that the claim merits inquiry, and the dismissal is based on discrimination or retaliation. The availability of the grievance process in such cases will be determined by the university's affirmative action officer or designee.
3.6. The initial probationary period is different and separate from any probationary period instituted as a disciplinary action against an employee. Information pertaining to the discipline and dismissal of a regular staff employee who has completed the initial probationary period is found in SAM 02.A.04 .
Last Reviewed/Revised: 01/29/2020
Responsible Office(s): Human Resources