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Human Resources Department

Recruitment & Classification Division


Human Resources Recruitment & Classification 750

The probation period is the best time to review the validity of a hire, and the County of Sonoma Civil Service Rules, Section 9 defines probation as a period of time during which the appointing authority determines an employee’s fitness for permanent employment status. The probationary period:

  • Is the final stage of the selection process and is used to determine an employee’s fitness for the job. This is a trial period, during which the supervisor carefully considers whether the employee is able to meet the standards and expectations of the job and should be retained as a regular employee

  • Does not apply to employees who transfer into the same or a closely related job class, or to non-Civil Service (unclassified) positions. The intent and duration of the probationary period should be clearly explained when the verbal job offer is made, and restated in the official job offer letter

  • Is six months for most classes, however, a one-year probationary period is required for all management and attorney classes and for certain classes where the work cycle or duration of training does not allow for adequate evaluation in six months

After making reasonable efforts to train and coach a new employee, if the employee is clearly not meeting the requirements of the job the employee should be released during the probationary period. The Civil Service Rules, Section 9.7 states that a probationary employee may be dismissed at any time during the probationary period without the right of appeal or hearing with the Civil Service Commission.

Note: Employees who are promoted from a classified position have the right to return to their previous position if they are released from probation. To ensure compliance with applicable rules, laws, and policies, please consult your assigned Human Resources Analyst when you consider releasing a probationary employee.  

Please contact your department’s Human Resources Recruitment and Classification Analyst regarding any question related to probation, release from probation, and/or release from assignment (EH).