Washington State University
BUSINESS POLICIES AND PROCEDURES MANUAL

PERSONNEL
60.31
Revised 6-09
Human Resource Services
335-4521

Probationary and Trial Service Periods for Civil Service Employees

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OVERVIEW

Probationary and trial service periods provide an opportunity for the employing department to observe and assess an employee's work and to train and aid the employee in adjusting to a new position. These periods allow the University to determine whether or not to grant the employee permanent status in that position.

A new employee who does not have permanent status with the state of Washington must serve a probationary period when appointed to a civil service position. See 60.29.

An employee who has passed a probationary period and holds permanent status with the state of Washington may be required to serve a trial service period even when she or he holds permanent status in the classification, e.g., in the case of promotion or transfer. See 60.29.

Applicability

This section applies to civil service employees.

An employee covered by a collective bargaining unit agreement is to refer to the applicable agreement regarding probationary and trial service periods.

Length of Periods

Probationary and trial service periods are for six months.

A probationary or trial service period is affected by the use of leave. If an employee uses leave without pay (LWOP) for an entire shift, her or his probationary or trial service period is extended on a day-for-day basis. (WAC 357-31-355, WAC 357-19-065)

Request for Extension

An appointing authority may submit a written request to the Director of Human Resource Services (HRS) for an extension of a probationary or trial service period. Such a request and approval must be for extraordinary reasons.

The Director of HRS must receive the written request for extension seven business days prior to the end of the six month probation or trial service period.

Probationary Period Separation

An appointing authority may separate a probationary employee who has not successfully completed his or her probationary period, in accordance with WAC 357-46.

To help assure compliance with state regulations, the appointing authority should contact HRS for assistance prior to initiating a separation during a probationary period.

A probationary employee must receive a minimum of one calendar day's written notice before being separated.

An individual separated during a probationary period does not have the right to appeal the separation.

Administration

WSU Pullman Human Resource Services (HRS) is responsible for overseeing and approving personnel actions including separations for probationary and trial service employees at all WSU locations systemwide.

TRIAL SERVICE REVERSION

Reversion is defined as the voluntary or involuntary movement of an employee during the trial service period, resulting in placement in a position or on the employer's internal layoff list. (WAC 357-01-290) See also 60.29.

Department-Initiated Reversion

The appointing authority may revert any employee who fails to meet the employer's standards during the trial service period. The appointing authority must provide the employee with seven calendar days' written notice. EXCEPTION: If during the last seven days of a trial service period, the employee commits an egregious act which warrants reversion, the appointing authority may immediately revert the employee without seven calendar days notice. (WAC 357-19-105)

Upon reversion, the employee has the rights provided by WAC 357-19-115 and WAC 357-19-117. See also "Reversion Options" below.

To assure compliance with state regulations, the appointing authority should contact HRS for assistance prior to initiating a trial service reversion.

Voluntary Reversion

Within 30 calendar days from the date of appointment, an employee may voluntarily revert during a trial service period by providing seven calendar days' written notice to the appointing authority.

After 30 calendar days from the date of appointment, an employee may voluntarily revert only at the discretion of the appointing authority to which the employee has reversion rights. The employee should contact HRS to assist with the voluntary reversion process.

Reversion Options

A permanent employee who does not satisfactorily complete the trial service period has the right to revert to a position, if available, in accordance with the following:

If the reverted employee is not returned to a permanent position in the class in which the employee last held permanent status, the employee may request to be placed on the internal layoff list.

Appeal

An employee reverted during a trial service period does not have the right to appeal.