Probationary Period

All new employees undergo a probationary period that begins on the first day of employment.

What Is a Probationary Period?

The probationary period is the initial period of employment, a kind of “trial period”, during which the supervisor carefully considers whether the employee is able to meet the standards and expectations of the job and if the employee should be retained by NYU as a “regular” employee (the probationary period does not apply to transfer employees). During this time, the supervisor appraises the employee’s:

  • Ability to learn and perform job duties
  • Quality of work
  • Productivity
  • Work habits
  • Cooperation
  • Attendance
  • Punctuality
  • Other standards and expectations specific to the employee’s work situation

If the employee is clearly not meeting the requirements of the job, the employee may be released at any time during the probationary period.

Note: The probationary period is intended to be used to determine whether the right employee has been hired for the job. Once the probationary period ends, the process for releasing an employee generally requires further documentation.

Probationary Periods for Each Group

The probationary period for each group is different:

Group Probationary Period
Administrators and Professionals and
Professional Research Staff (below
level of director or equivalent)
Six months from date of hire
Office and Clerical and Laboratory and
Technical Staff
Three months from date of hire
Service Staff Consult the applicable collective
bargaining agreement

Note (for all groups): If a full-time temporary employee becomes a full-time regular employee in the same position for which he or she was originally hired, the time worked as a temporary employee is credited toward the completion of the probationary period.

Extension of Probation

Under special circumstances a probationary period may be extended if the supervisor needs more time to appraise the employee. An extension must be requested at least one week in advance of the end of the probationary period and all extensions need to be approved by the Deputy Director of Talent, Learning and Organizational Development. Additionally, extensions for Office and Clerical or Laboratory and Technical staff positions must also be approved by the Local 3882, the collective bargaining agent for these employees.

Determining If the Employee Passes the Probationary Period

If a supervisor decides to keep the employee on staff beyond the probationary period, he or she must complete a Probationary Review Form and return it to the department’s HR Officer. NYU's Employee Relations Office sends the Human Resources Officer notification several weeks before the end of the probationary period to allow the supervisor enough time to think about the employee’s performance and to schedule a meeting with the employee just prior to the end of the probationary period to discuss performance.

Note: No department should retain an employee beyond the last day of the probationary period unless they have an official extension or they intend for the employee to pass probation.

Once the employee has passed the probationary period, he or she becomes a regular staff member and is eligible for all benefits available for that job classification. For details on employee benefit options, select "Benefits" or email askpeoplelink@nyu.edu.

Documenting Problems or Misconduct

Formal written warnings and other documentation usually are not required during the probationary period. However, serious problems or misconduct may warrant documentation. Consult with your HR Officer for further assistance in these matters.

Terminating an Employee After the Probationary Period

If a supervisor decides to terminate an employee after he or she has passed the probationary period, the supervisor should consult with his or her HR Officer to discuss the relevant performance issues. Since most employees have access to a grievance and arbitration procedure, documentation may be requested for further review. Guidance and assistance regarding termination may also be secured from the Office of Employee Relations at 212-998-1290.

Transfers: The First Three Months

Although there is no official probationary period for an employee who transfers to another position, the supervisor and employee should use the first three months in the new position to assess performance and to determine whether the new assignment is the right fit for the employee. If the new position isn’t the right fit, the supervisor should contact NYU PeopleLink.

  1. Dates of official enactment and amendments: Not Available
  2. History: N/A
  3. Cross References: N/A