The probationary or working test period shall be regarded as an integral part of the hiring, promotion, transfer and special assignment process and shall be utilized for training and for closely observing the employee's work, securing the most effective adjustment of a new, promoted, transferred or assigned employee. The probationary period is a working test period during which an employee is required to demonstrate their fitness for the position to which they have been appointed by actual performance of the duties of the position.
All employees filling a full-time position shall serve a probationary period of at least twelve months starting at the time of hire and again following any change in position, i.e., promotion, transfer, special assignment, etc. The Department Director, with approval of the City Manager, may extend the probationary period for a period not to exceed three (3) months. The City Manager may extend the probationary period beyond the three months if deemed necessary.
All employees filling a part-time position shall serve a probationary period for the length of their employment up to twelve months and again following any change in position, i.e., promotion, transfer, etc. If the length of employment exceeds twelve months, the employee is subject to the same rules regarding probation as full-time employees.Exceptions and Clarifications
Employees with positions in this section may constitute exceptions to policies in this manual. Those exceptions shall be as follows:
Employees who rotate assignments without assignment pay within the same or closely related positions, such as patrol, detective, narcotics officer, PSD officer, COP officer, FTO trainer, etc., will not be required to be in probationary status each time a change in assignment is made. New hire police officers begin their probationary period when they begin the FTO program, not when they finish.
Certain employees promoted or assigned into career ladder positions with basically the same job duties, but requiring more experience and job skills are not required to be in probationary status. The following promotions/assignments fall into this category and do not require probationary status:
- Promotion From Secretary I to Secretary II
- Promotion From Police Officer I to Police Officer II, & from Police Officer II to Police Officer III
- Promotion From Dispatcher I to Dispatcher II
- Promotion From Building Inspector I to Building Inspector II
- Promotion From Parks Spec I to Parks Spec II
- Promotion From Fire Fighter II to Fire Fighter III
- Police Officer receiving an assignment as a Canine Handler
Certain employees promoted/assigned into positions requiring new supervisory responsibility, and/or increased educational requirements, and/or increased job duties, and/or change in status from part-time to full-time shall be required to be in probationary status. The following promotions fall into this category:
- From Police Officer III to Police Sergeant & from Police Sergeant to Police Lieutenant
- Fire Fighter, Engineer or Captain receiving a paramedic assignment.
- From Dispatcher II to Dispatch Supervisor
- From Secretary II to Secretary III
- From Building Inspector II to Building Inspector III/Plans Inspector
- From Regular or Limited Part-Time Custodian to Regular Full-Time Custodian
Benefits for Probationary Employees
Probationary employees are eligible for the same benefits as they will receive when they become regular employees.
Full-time probationary employees should meet at least quarterly with their supervisor or Department Director to discuss their performance and work expectations. A record of these meetings, signed by the employee, shall be kept in the employee's personnel file. It is not necessary to do written quarterly evaluations on employees promoted from regular part-time to regular full-time status in the same position.
A probationary employee may be terminated at any time with or without notice or cause by the appropriate supervisor after consultation with the Human Resources Department, City Attorney and City Manager. (See Termination of Employment Policy 3901)
Unpaid Leave During Probationary Period
Time spent on any unpaid leave of absence shall not be considered as part of any probationary period.
Probationary Period Report
At least 10 days prior to the expiration of any employee's probationary period, the Department Director should notify the Human Resources Department, in writing, whether the services of the employee have been satisfactory and if the Department Director is willing to continue the employee in the position or assignment. No employee should be paid for work performed after the expiration of the probationary period unless the Department Director has notified the Human Resources Department and City Manager that he/she recommends the employee for regular appointment to the position. If the employee is paid due to an oversight, he/she is deemed to continue in probationary status until the appropriate paperwork is submitted, but such delay should not exceed 3 months. Until such notification is given, the employee will not be given Regular status. The City Manager may waive irregularities in the report process.
Upon recommendation of the Department Director and approval by the City Manager, a probationer shall become a Regular employee in the position for which the employee is certified, and the Human Resources Department shall so notify the employee of the new status with a Personnel Action Form.
Employee Placed on Probation
Regular employees may be placed on probation as a disciplinary measure for periods of time to be determined by the Department Director in consultation with the Human Resources Department, Legal Department and the City Manager. Employees who are placed on probation remain eligible for the same benefits as they were receiving before being placed on probation. (See Disciplinary Action Policy #3801)