Trial Period Policy

Policy Statement

A 90-calendar day trial period applies to all current staff who transfer into or are promoted to a new position. During the trial period, staff will continue to accrue PTO, vacation, sick leave or holiday time and are able to use it with supervisor approval.

Policy Details

When an hourly-paid or monthly-salaried staff member changes jobs at Duke (transfer, reclassification or rehire during one-year layoff status) the staff member will serve a 90-day calendar trial period. The staff member's trial period starts on the first day of the job change and lasts until the staff member has completed 90 consecutive calendar days of regular employment status. During this time, the staff member determines whether or not the position meets his or her expectations, and the supervisor determines whether or not the staff member has the knowledge and skills to perform the job expectations. This period is a time for open communication by both the supervisor and staff member about performance and conduct that is acceptable and that needs improvement.

Ongoing Coaching and Feedback

Throughout the staff member's trial period, a supervisor observes and monitors performance and provides timely feedback. The staff member should also regularly seek advice, counsel, and feedback on his or her performance.

Completion of the Trial Period

Supervisors must evaluate the staff member during the trial period. A performance review should be initiated within the first 15 days of hire. The supervisor should obtain and complete a Trial Period Review Form. Upon obtaining the form, the supervisor and staff member should meet to discuss performance and determine whether the staff member is performing at his or her expected level of performance during the trial period.

The form must be signed and dated by both the supervisor and staff member. The staff member and his or her department must then each retain a copy of the signed and dated form. The review form should be completed before the 90th calendar day of the trial period.

A decision should be made by the supervisor to recommend:

  • successful completion of the review period,
  • extension of the review period for 30 days, or
  • discharge because of unsuccessful completion of the review period.

Any extension or discharge must be reviewed with the entity/department HR leader and a representative of Staff and Labor Relations at least 14 calendar days before the end of the 90 calendar day period.

Extension of the Trial Period

In some cases, 90 days is not a sufficient period of time to evaluate the suitability of a new hire. In these rare situations, a (maximum) 30-day extension of the trial period is available to supervisors. Such extensions are only appropriate when – without this action – the staff member would be terminated. Supervisors who feel that this additional time period could result in the staff member successfully meeting the performance requirements of the position should take advantage of the extension. A supervisor’s department head must approve the request for an extension at least 14 calendar days prior to the end of the staff member’s 90-calendar day trial period. To discuss an extension of the Trial Period, supervisors should contact the entity or department Human Resources representative or a representative of Staff and Labor Relations. The extension agreement should be in writing and should be signed by both the staff member and supervisor.

Termination of Employment During the Trial Period

The supervisor must discuss the individual’s lack of suitability for a position with the entity or department Human Resources representative or a Staff and Labor Relations representative. This contact must be made as early as possible but must be made at least 14 calendar days prior to the end of the 90-calendar day trial period - before any discussion with the staff member in question.

If a staff member does not successfully complete the trial period, he or she may apply for other vacant positions within Duke. However, there is no guarantee of continued employment. The staff member may take personal leave for up to 90 days. This leave may be renewed at three-month increments for up to one year - with department approval. The staff member will also be allowed to use the dispute resolution process to address disagreement with the supervisor’s decision to terminate.

A newly transferred or promoted staff member is eligible to use the dispute resolution process during the 90-day trial period. Staff who resign or are terminated during the trial period are eligible to be paid for any accrued but unused paid time off in the form of Short-Term Bank, vacation, or holiday.

Personal Leave Benefits Coverage

Duke does not pay the staff member’s share of the Duke-sponsored insurance programs while a staff member is on personal leave. When on Personal Leave with no pay, the individual must elect and pay for COBRA to continue health, dental, and vision benefits.

Policy Number: 02.06


Recruitment, Hiring, & Transferring Policy