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HRAR-3.08 - Probationary Period

Administrative Rules Adopted by Bureaus Pursuant to Rule Making Authority (ARB)
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 Initial, expanded transfer or promotional appointments to a classified position shall include a probationary period, as the final step in the selection process, to determine the employee’s merit and fitness for the job. The purpose of the probationary period is to provide supervisors the opportunity to assess general working habits (punctuality, attendance, working relationships, etc.) and to evaluate the employee's ability to meet performance standards.

An employee who demotes to a classification they previously held status in will not be required to serve another probationary period for that classification.

Employees in positions exempt from Civil Service under Chapter 4 of the City Charter do not serve a probationary period and may be dismissed at any time for any reason.

Probationary Time Periods

Probation shall be in effect as follows:

  1. Police Officers – 18 months
  2. All other sworn Police classes – 12 months
  3. All Fire classes - 12 months
  4. BOEC 911 Operators – 12 months
  5. PTE Local 17 – 9 months
  6. PTE Local 17 Promotion to a higher classfication-6 months
  7. DCTU, except Police Records Specialist Trainee and Police Identification Technician Trainee – 6 months
  8. Police Records Specialist Trainee and Police Identification Technician Trainee – 9 months
  9. All other represented classes – 6 months
  10. All non-represented classifications – 9 months. A longer probationary period of up to 12 months may be instituted for all non-represented employees in a particular classification or bureau-wide, if authorized by the bureau director and approved by the Director of Human Resources.

Extension of Probationary Period

For non-represented and represented employees as allowed by their collective bargaining agreements, a probationary period may be extended upon mutual agreement of the Human Resources Director and the bureau manager in cases where the employee has been absent for an extended period or where additional review of the employee’s performance is required. Some collective bargaining agreements allow for the extension of probation without mutual agreement for absences of one week or more.

Seniority and Probationary Period

Seniority is based on appointment date and includes the probationary period.

Termination of Employment During the Probationary Period

A probationary employee in an appointment to a new classification may be dismissed without a statement of cause at any time during probation if, in the opinion of the appointing authority, continuance in service is not in the best interest of the City. The employee is not entitled to any appeal rights.

A regular employee failing to pass the probationary period upon expanded transfer or promotion to a position in the classified service, shall have return rights to the classification and position most recently held in which the employee formerly held status, unless the employee has been dismissed for cause. If the employee returns to their former classification and position, seniority in the higher classification will be cancelled.

Limitations During the Probationary Period

During the initial probationary period (including any extensions), employees have no rights to a grievance procedure or the Civil Service Board appeal process to contest decisions concerning discipline, layoff or termination.

Historical notes


Adopted by Council March 6, 2002, Ordinance No. 176302

Effective April 5, 2002

Revised July 28, 2003

Revised July 1, 2004

Revised July 9, 2007

Revised October 19, 2010

Revised November 4, 2011

Revised April 25, 2016

Revised February 15, 2018

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