Subject:                       University Human Resources

Policy:                          Classified Employee Probationary Period

Effective Date:            January 1, 2019         


Review Date:               Three (3) years from Effective Date above

Responsible Party:    University Human Resources

Applicability:               This policy applies to classified employees in permanent positions


All classified employees in permanent positions serve a probationary period during which the department determines whether an employee will be allowed to move to a permanent status.

At any time during the probationary period, the supervisor, with approval of University Human Resources, may terminate the employment relationship without a showing of cause. Upon successful completion of the probationary period, the employee attains continuing status and may not be terminated without cause. Temporary employees, short-term workers, and student workers are not eligible to attain continuing status and do not serve probationary periods.


The length of the probationary period for classified employees varies.

a.      For classified employees who are represented by a union, the probationary period is established in the applicable collective bargaining agreement.

b.      For union-exempt classified employees, the probationary period is the first six (6) months from the date of hire at Montana State University Bozeman.
         Transfers within MSU Bozeman do not initiate a new probationary period unless there is a change in the union status of the position.

Upon receipt of University Human Resources approval, the department may extend the probationary period, if appropriate, to provide additional time to evaluate the employee’s abilities to perform the job assignments.


During the probationary period, the supervisor will observe and assess the employee's job performance and work methods. The supervisor should discuss the expectations of the position and the criteria that will be considered to determine whether the employee should be retained after the probationary period.

The supervisor should provide feedback to the new employee on the employee’s performance. Problems and deficiencies, as well as successes, should be reviewed with employees, along with recommendations on how to improve.

Supervisors identifying problems and deficiencies, and who are considering termination of a probationary employee, shall contact University Human Resources for guidance before taking any action to terminate the employee.


The employment of the probationary employee may be terminated without cause at any time prior to the end of the initial or extended probationary period. Prior to finalizing this decision, the decision will be discussed and approved by University Human Resources. Upon receipt of University Human Resources' approval, and prior to the end of the probationary period, the supervisor will provide written notification of termination to the employee.