A. The probationary period shall be regarded as an integral part of the selection examination process and shall be utilized for closely observing the newly hired or promoted employee’s work abilities and performance. No employee shall be deemed to be a permanent employee until they have successfully completed their probationary employment for the employment position that the employee occupies with the county.
B. Every peace officer employed by the Sheriff’s Department shall serve, to the satisfaction of the appointing authority, a probationary period which shall be the equivalent of 18 months of consecutive full-time employment. All other county employees shall serve, to the satisfaction of the appointing authority, a probationary period which shall be the equivalent of 12 full months of consecutive full-time employment.
C. An employee may be discharged at any time during his or her probationary period and without reason or cause and without providing any hearing. The appointing authority shall provide proper notification to the employee and a separation report to the Auditor’s office.
D. An employee shall attain permanent status upon satisfactory completion of the probationary period of employment. Except as otherwise provided for employees receiving promotions, no employee shall gain permanent (nonprobationary status) unless and until the appointing authority certifies in writing to the employee and the Personnel Director of his or her acceptance of the employee as satisfactorily completing their probationary employment. The appointing authority shall endeavor to notify all probationary employees of the completion, termination or extension of probationary employment prior to the completion of the probationary period. An appointing authority may extend the probation period for an additional six months under the following conditions:
1. Prior to the expiration of the probation period, the appointing authority gives the employee written notice of intention to extend the probation period, which notice shall contain the reasons for the extension. Any reason, subjective or objective, shall be sufficient.
2. In the event that the appointing authority fails to provide written notice to the probationary employee of satisfactory completion of his or her probationary employment, the probationary status shall be deemed to be extended for an additional six-month period; at the end of which, unless there is further action by the appointing authority, the employee will be deemed to have successfully completed his or her probationary employment.
E. If an employee is promoted within an employment classification (such as the range of positions in the classification for road worker – as between a class I, II or III or Deputy Sheriff I, II or III) then in such case the probationary periods shall be (1) the equivalent of 26 consecutive weeks of FTE (full-time employment) for all employees other than Deputy Sheriffs and (2) a probationary period which shall be the equivalent of 52 consecutive weeks of FTE (full-time employment) for Deputy Sheriffs. All other employees receiving promotions or being changed to positions outside of his or her existing class for employment shall serve a probation period as set out in subsection (B) of this section.
F. During a probationary period, if an employee’s performance does not meet the required standards for the position to which the employee was promoted, the employee shall have the right, in lieu of termination, to voluntarily demote back to the former position in which permanent status is held, so long as the former position is vacant and has not been filled with another employee or eliminated.
G. Unless notified in writing by the appointing authority prior to the completion of the probationary period, a promoted employee shall attain permanent status upon the completion of the probationary period.
H. When an employee takes leave while serving any probationary period, the period of probation shall be extended accordingly.