U.S. Code of Federal Regulations
Regulations most recently checked for updates: Oct 04, 2023
(a) The first year of service of an employee who is given a career or career-conditional appointment under this part is a probationary period when the employee:
(1) Was appointed from a competitive list of eligibles established under subpart C of this part;
(2) Was reinstated under subpart D of this part unless during any period of service which affords a current basis for reinstatement, the employee completed a probationary period or served with competitive status under an appointment which did not require a probationary period.
(b) A person who is:
(1) Transferred under § 315.501; or
(2) Promoted, demoted, or reassigned; before he completed probation is required to complete the probationary period in the new position.
(c) A person who is reinstated from the Reemployment Priority List to a position in the same agency and the same commuting area does not have to serve a new probationary period, but, if separated during probation, is required to complete the probationary period in the new position.
(d) Upon noncompetitive appointment to the competitive service under the Postal Reorganization Act (39 U.S.C. 101 et seq.), an employee of the Postal Career Service (including substitute and part-time flexible) who has not completed 1 year of Postal service, must serve the remainder of a 1-year probationary period in the new agency.
(e) A person who is appointed to the competitive service either by special appointing authority or by conversion under subparts F or G of this part serves a 1-year probationary period unless specifically exempt from probation by the authority itself.
(a) The probationary period required by § 315.801 is 1 year and may not be extended.
(b) Prior Federal civilian service (including nonappropriated fund service) counts toward completion of probation when the prior service:
(1) Is in the same agency, e.g., Department of the Army;
(2) Is in the same line of work (determined by the employee's actual duties and responsibilities); and
(3) Contains or is followed by no more than a single break in service that does not exceed 30 calendar days.
(c) Periods of absence while in a pay status count toward completion of probation. Absence in nonpay status while on the rolls (other than for compensable injury or military duty) is creditable up to a total of 22 workdays. Absence (whether on or off the rolls) due to compensable injury or military duty is creditable in full upon restoration to Federal service. Nonpay time in excess of 22 workdays extends the probationary period by an equal amount. An employee serving probation who leaves Federal service to become a volunteer with the Peace Corps or the Corporation for National and Community Service serves the remainder of the probationary period upon reinstatement provided the employee is reinstated within 90 days of termination of service as a volunteer or training for such service.
(d) The probationary period for part-time employees is computed on the basis of calendar time, in the same manner as for full-time employees. For intermittent employees, i.e., those who do not have regularly scheduled tours of duty, each day or part of a day in pay status counts as 1 day of credit toward the 260 days in a pay status required for completion of probation. (However, the probationary period cannot be completed in less than 1 year of calendar time.)
(a) The agency shall utilize the probationary period as fully as possible to determine the fitness of the employee and shall terminate his or her services during this period if the employee fails to demonstrate fully his or her qualifications for continued employment.
(b) Termination of an individual serving a probationary period must be taken in accordance with subpart D of part 752 of this chapter if the individual has completed one year of current continuous service under other than a temporary appointment limited to 1 year or less and is not otherwise excluded by the provisions of that subpart.
(a) Subject to § 315.803(b), when an agency decides to terminate an employee serving a probationary or trial period because his work performance or conduct during this period fails to demonstrate his fitness or his qualifications for continued employment, it shall terminate his services by notifying him in writing as to why he is being separated and the effective date of the action. The information in the notice as to why the employee is being terminated shall, as a minimum, consist of the agency's conclusions as to the inadequacies of his performance or conduct.
(b) Probation ends when the employee completes his or her scheduled tour of duty on the day before the anniversary date of the employee's appointment. For example, when the last workday is a Friday and the anniversary date is the following Monday, the probationer must be separated before the end of the tour of duty on Friday since Friday would be the last day the employee actually has to demonstrate fitness for further employment.
Subject to § 315.803(b), when an agency proposes to terminate an employee serving a probationary or trial period for reasons based in whole or in part on conditions arising before his appointment, the employee is entitled to the following:
(a) Notice of proposed adverse action. The employee is entitled to an advance written notice stating the reasons, specifically and in detail, for the proposed action.
(b) Employee's answer. The employee is entitled to a reasonable time for filing a written answer to the notice of proposed adverse action and for furnishing affidavits in support of his answer. If the employee answers, the agency shall consider the answer in reaching its decision.
(c) Notice of adverse decision. The employee is entitled to be notified of the agency's decision at the earliest practicable date. The agency shall deliver the decision to the employee at or before the time the action will be made effective. The notice shall be in writing, inform the employee of the reasons for the action, inform the employee of his right of appeal to the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB), and inform him of the time limit within which the appeal must be submitted as provided in § 315.806(d).
(a) Right of appeal. An employee may appeal to the Merit Systems Protection Board in writing an agency's decision to terminate him under § 315.804 or § 315.805 only as provided in paragraphs (b) and (c) of this section. The Merit Systems Protection Board review is confined to the issues stated in paragraphs (b) and (c) of this section.
(b) On discrimination. An employee may appeal under this paragraph a termination not required by statute which he or she alleges was based on partisan political reasons or marital status.
(c) On improper procedure. A probationer whose termination is subject to § 315.805 may appeal on the ground that his termination was not effected in accordance with the procedural requirements of that section.
(d) An employee may appeal to the Board under this section a termination that the employee alleges was based on discrimination because of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy and gender identity), national origin, age (as defined by the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, as amended), or disability. An appeal alleging a discriminatory termination may be filed under this subsection only if such discrimination is raised in addition to one of the issues stated in paragraph (b) or (c) of this section.