4.31 Probationary Period

Last Revised: 15 Oct 2004

Refer Questions to: Director, Human Resources


This policy applies to regular and extended temporary staff and supervisors of staff employees in all offices and divisions of Gallaudet University, unless specifically covered by collective bargaining agreements made between Gallaudet University and certified bargaining agents.


The first six calendar months of employment for staff employees are considered a probationary period. During this time, employees have an opportunity to learn more about their assignments and to determine whether or not they are satisfied with the position. At the same time, the supervisor has an opportunity to determine whether or not the employee has the potential for successful performance in the position. The potential for successful performance includes not only the potential for performing responsibilities satisfactorily, but also the potential for achieving an acceptable level of sign proficiency.

If a level of sign proficiency is not required at the time of application, new staff employees are expected to achieve at least a Novice level of sign proficiency during their probationary period. New staff employees who are unable to achieve at least a Novice level rating following the initial intensive sign language training program may immediately repeat the course. If, however, by the end of the second session of the intensive sign language training program, the employee is unable to demonstrate at least a Novice level of sign proficiency, he/she will be considered unable to demonstrate the potential for successful performance at Gallaudet and will be notified by the immediate supervisor of termination during the probationary period. (Employees who clearly have an appointment of one year or less may be exempted.) Any exceptions must be approved by the President and should only be made in highly unusual circumstances.

Since the probationary period also serves as an orientation period, counseling sessions should be held between the supervisor and the employee to discuss various aspects of the job. If at any time during the probationary period the supervisor feels that the employee is not suitable for the position, the supervisor may terminate the employment. An employee who is terminated during the probationary period has no rights of appeal under the Dispute Resolution Procedures.

If at any time during the probationary period the employee decides that he/she is not satisfied with the job placement or that he/she cannot adjust properly to the work assignments, the employee may apply for a position elsewhere on campus. This action does not change the conditions for meeting the sign language requirement within the established time frame. If, by the end of the probationary period the employee elects to remain in the position, he/she may not be employed by another unit on campus until he/she has been in the department for a total of 12 months from the date of hire, unless the appointment is for less than one year's duration.

Satisfactory completion of the probationary period is not a guarantee of continuous employment.

Note: Statements in italics are currently suspended.

Approved by: Gallaudet University Board of Trustees


  1. If an employee is to be terminated during the probationary period, the supervisor should:
    1. Contact the senior administrator and Human Resources Services to review the events leading to termination.
    2. Inform the employee verbally and in writing, no later than the final day of the probationary period, of the termination and the effective date of separation. No notice is required.
    3. Instruct the employee to arrange an exit interview with Human Resources Services for a review of benefits.
    4. Prepare a Separation Personnel Action Form and verify return of University property and any monies due.
  2. The employee is eligible for one week of severance pay.
  3. Involuntarily terminated employees receive their final paycheck on their last day of work provided the Payroll Office receives notification by 1 p.m. Otherwise, the employee is paid on the next business day.
  4. Collection procedures may be implemented if the employee does not return all University property or has not satisfied all financial obligations with the University.