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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Extending a probationary period


Extending a probationary period
76 AD2d 973

An individual was permanently appointed to a position with the State subject to his satisfactorily completing a 52-week probationary period.

As a result of his being absent from work 24 days due to job-related injury, he was told that his probationary period was extended “24 days”. The employee was subsequently dismissed from his position “for failure to satisfactorily complete the probationary period.”

The individual sued, seeking a court order directing his reinstatement to the position. The Appellate Division, however, rejected his argument that he became permanent at the end of 52 weeks, holding that the Rules for the Classified Service* for employees of the State as the employer, provided that the “Maximum period of probationary term of any employee shall be extended by the number of work days of his absence which ... are not counted as time served in the probationary term."

The court explained that the "rationale of the regulation is to add to the expiration date of the probationary period the same period of time that the (employee) had missed during his probationary period, so that his performance of duty could be fully observed and evaluated for an entire 52 week period."

* See 4 NYCRR 4.5(g). A number of municipal civil service commissions and personnel officers have adopted similar rules.
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