Governor Hochul recently signed into law legislation (A. 7155/S. 5494) that will provide that any employee who is appointed to a serve in a competitive civil service position on a provisional basis, and subsequently receives a permanent appointment from an eligible list in the same title, shall be credited with their prior provisional service towards the new probationary status. Provisional appointments are made when no valid eligible list of candidates exists, pending the results of a future examination. This is somewhat similar to “Jarema” credit for substitute teachers who are immediately appointed to a subsequent probationary period in the same tenure area following substitute service. The new law became effective on September 7, 2023.
Each civil service jurisdiction establishes local civil service rules that define the length of probationary terms for permanent appointments from an open-competitive list. A typical probationary period for such appointments is for a duration of no less than eight (8) weeks nor more than twenty-six (26) weeks. As a result, provisional appointees may have an extremely short probationary period due to provisional service that is rendered, at the end of which time districts and BOCES must determine if they should be appointed permanently to the position.
Public employers must be careful to evaluate the performance of all provisional civil service employees and to document the shortened probationary periods that will apply if they are appointed to a permanent position. Please contact any of the attorneys in our firm should you have any questions about compliance with this new requirement.