A probationary period is a period of specified time (usually 6 or 12 months) at the beginning of an appointment that is used for a close review of an employee's performance prior to granting the employee permanent status. This is the final step in the selection process.

A probationary report helps the supervisor and employee:

  • adapt to his/her job and work environment
  • recognize effective performance
  • identify aspects of performance that could be improved
  • be used as a tool for guidance in training
  • grant permanent civil service status

It is the policy of the Department of General Services (DGS) to evaluate the work and efficiency of a probationer at sufficiently frequent intervals to keep the employee adequately informed of progress on the job. If the employee is rejected during the probationary period, a final report may be filed for the period not covered by previous reports.

Performance appraisal shall be governed by the following:

  • The appraisal of work performance provides recognition for effective performance and identifies aspects of performance that could be improved.
  • Performance appraisal is a continuing responsibility of all supervisors, and supervisors shall discuss performance informally with each employee as often as necessary to ensure effective performance throughout the year.
  • Each supervisor, as designated by DGS, shall make an appraisal in writing and shall discuss with the employee overall work performance at least once in each twelve calendar months following the end of the employee's probationary period for the purpose of informing the employee of:
    • the caliber of the employee's work; and
    • helping the employee recognize areas where performance could be improved.
  • Each employee shall be given a copy of the written appraisal covering the employee's own performance and is privileged to discuss it with DGS management before it is filed.

Length of probationary periods

The table below provides guidance on the length of probationary periods per tenure.

TENURE  PROBATIONARY PERIOD
Permanent
  • 6-, 9-, or 12-month period depending on classification
Part-time
  • 6-, 9-, or 12-month period depending on classification and the required hours
Limited-term
  • Serve no probationary period
  • Time served on LT cannot be used to complete probation
Temporary Authorization Utilization (TAU)
  • Serve no probationary period
  • Time served on TAU cannot be used to complete probation
Intermittent
  • Continues until both the required calendar time and hours have been worked
Limited Examination and Appointment Program (LEAP)
  • Serve no probationary period
  • Serve a Job Examination Period (JEP), which is the same length as the probation for the parallel classification, either 6- or 12- months

REQUIRED WORK HOURS
During the prescribed calendar length of the probationary period, the employee is required to work the following hours:

  • 840 hours if serving a six-month probationary period
  • 1260 hours if serving a nine-month probationary period
  • 1680 hours if serving a twelve-month probationary period

EXTENSION OF PROBATIONARY PERIODS
In the event a probationer has not, during the prescribed calendar length of the probationary period, worked the required number of hours, probation will automatically be extended until the probationer has worked the required number of hours. The State Personnel Board (SPB) and the probationer shall be notified of an extension, in writing.

Vacation, sick leave, military leave or other leave of absence, compensating time off, suspension or other separations, including separations subsequently voided or otherwise set aside, shall not be considered working time.

Note: Overtime and other worked time should be included in computation of hours worked.

The following table depicts various "if" "then" scenarios for the extension of probationary periods.

IF THEN 
Probationer has had a continuous period of absence of 60 or more working days and upon return from such absence, DGS determines that the remaining portion of the probationary period is insufficient to evaluate that probationer's current performance

DGS may extend the probationary period with the approval of the SPB Executive Officer

  • Length of extension shall be determined by the length of the completed portion of the probationary period at the beginning of the probationer's absence as follows:
    • If up to one-third of the minimum number of hours required was worked, then the remainder of the period plus the extension shall not exceed the minimum number of hours required for the original period
    • If over one-third but not more than two-thirds of the minimum number of hours required was worked, then the remainder of the period plus the extension shall not exceed two-thirds of the minimum number of hours required for the original period
    • If over two-thirds of the minimum number of hours required was worked, then the remainder of the period plus the extension shall not exceed one-third of the minimum number of hours required for the original period
Probationer rejected during probationary period

DGS may extend the probationary period for a maximum of five working days in order to comply with notice requirements in SPB Rule 52.3.

Probationer alleges s/he has disability as defined under GC Section 12926

The probationer and DGS submits a written agreement for approval to SPB, extending the probationer's probationary period within his/her existing classification for up to six months to provide a reasonable accommodation to the employee as follows:

  • Describe the period of extension
  • Beginning and ending dates
  • How the extended period will allow the probationer to demonstrate, before the extended period ends, the ability to satisfactorily perform the essential functions of the position with reasonable accommodation
    • If probationer's period ends during SPB review, then SPB will automatically extend period until a determination is made; or
    • If SPB does not approve, SPB will extend probationer's period by an additional ten working days from the date of service of SPB's determination to allow sufficient time to serve the rejection.

Procedure

The table below depicts the roles and responsibilities of the staff impacted by probationary periods and reports.

ROLE  RESPONSIBILITY
Attendance Clerk
  • Determines probationary due dates using the Notice of Personnel Action (NOPA) and 'alert' generated by ABMS
  • Tracks hours for permanent intermittent (PI) employees
  • Notifies supervisor one month prior to due date
Office/Branch
  • Initiates and ensures timely completion of probationary report and performance appraisal
  • Consults with Classification and Pay (C&P) Analyst or Constructive Intervention Consultant regarding employees with difficulty successfully completing probation or annual performance appraisal
Supervisor
Classification and Pay Analyst
  • Advises supervisor regarding questions on employees probationary status
  • Notifies employee and SPB, in writing, of any extension
  • Notifies Construction Intervention Consultant regarding any performance issues
Construction Intervention Consultant
  • Works with supervisor to develop rejection during probation due to poor performance appraisal
  • Notifies C&P Analyst, SPB and employee of rejection during probe
  • Notifies and coordinates with former employer of rejection
Personnel Specialist
  • Reviews employment history and Personnel Management Policy and Procedure Manual (PMPPM) to determine need for probationary period
  • Uses Pay Scales to determine length of probation
  • Tracks intermittent and part-time employees' hours
  • Coordinates with AC to notify intermittent and part-time employees that probation continues until both the required calendar time and hours have been worked
  • Receives completed probationary report or performance appraisal
    • If probationary report or performance appraisal received "unacceptable or improvement needed", contact Constructive Intervention Consultant and provide a copy of report.
  • Sends probationary report or performance appraisal to Customer Resource Unit for filing
Customer Resource Unit
  • Receives probationary report or performance appraisal and files in employees Official Personnel Folder (OPF)

reinstatement following rejection on probation

A person who attains permanent status (i.e., completes probation in a certain classification) and is rejected on probation in a subsequent promotional appointment, retains permissive reinstatement eligibility to the classification from which rejected as long as the person remains in State service with no break in service.

Once the employee leaves State service, s/he is no longer eligible for reinstatement to the higher classification. However, reinstatement eligibility for lower classifications is retained.

Requirements

An employee must serve a new probationary period under the following circumstances:

  • Enters or is promoted in the State civil service by permanent appointment from an employment list.
  • Reinstates after a permanent separation that resulted in a break in continuity of State service.
  • By reinstatement or appointment from a reemployment list to a classification with a promotional relationship to the classification of the employee's former position.
  • Has not attained permanent status when accepting another appointment. Shall serve the remainder of that probationary period unless required to serve a new probationary period.
  • Any other type of appointment situation not specifically exempted by statute or State Personnel Board (SPB) rule.

Exception: A new probationary period shall not be served when:

  • an employee is being appointed from any reemployment list under DGS
  • reinstating with a right of return
  • without a break in service under DGS and to the same class in which the employee had completed the probationary period
  • demoting (in lieu of layoff)

Resources

Responsible Control Agencies

  • California Department of Human Resources
  • State Personnel Board

Laws and Regulations

  • CalHR Rule 599.795, 599.798
  • Government Code section 19059, 19170-19180, 19992
  • SPB Rule 52.3, 321-327

Other Resource Materials

Contact

Constructive Intervention Unit

Department of General Services
Office of Human Resources

707 3rd Street, 7th Floor
West Sacramento, CA 95605
Contact your assigned Constructive Intervention Consultant.