Initial Review Period

Brandeis University welcomes all new employees to the campus community and hopes that their transition to work at Brandeis is successful. During the initial review period (first six months of employment at Brandeis), employees will be introduced to several valuable resources and, through participation in the new-employee orientation program, will be given important information to help them acclimate to Brandeis University.


The policy applies to newly hired staff, except those with temporary appointments and those covered by the terms of a collective bargaining agreement between the university and a union.


Initial Review Period Timeframe

New employees must satisfactorily complete a six-month initial review period. This initial review period provides an opportunity for the individual and the supervisor to assess suitability for and interest in the position, performance of the position duties, conduct and work habits. During this period, ongoing communication between the supervisor and new employee is encouraged so that expectations are communicated and feedback regarding performance, conduct and work habits may be shared with the employee. Any training and/or developmental needs or plans should also be discussed.

Extending the Initial Review Period and Termination

If, during the initial review period, the employee is not meeting expectations, appropriate discussions between the new employee and the supervisor should take place. If termination of employment is a foreseeable outcome, supervisors are urged to inform employees of this possibility. At any point during the initial review period, the supervisor may decide on one of two options:

  1. Following discussion with human resources, the supervisor may extend the initial review period. Employees should be notified, in writing, when the supervisor is extending the initial review period. Extensions are granted when it is believed that the employee may be able to correct whatever difficulties he or she may be having.
  2. Following discussion with human resources, the supervisor may decide to terminate the individual’s employment. This may occur at any time during the initial review period, the extended review period or at the conclusion of either period. The supervisor should consult with human resources about conducting the termination meeting and obtaining the appropriate information and documentation to share with the employee.

Ordinarily, employees will be provided with feedback prior to dismissal. However, Brandeis reserves its right as an employer-at-will and may end an individual’s employment at any time, with or without cause, and with or without notice.

Separation Pay

If a decision to terminate employment is made during the initial review period, two weeks separation pay will be granted to the employee. Pay is not provided to employees whose employment is terminated due to serious misconduct.

Successful Completion of the Initial Review Period

At the conclusion of the initial review period, the supervisor should schedule a performance review meeting with the employee to discuss performance and to identify goals and objectives.


Generally, new staff members must complete their initial review period before taking accrued personal and/or vacation days. Please consult the Benefits Handbook for more information.

Transfers or Promotions to a New Position

Transfers and promotions during the initial review period are not encouraged and may be denied by the supervisor and/or human resources. Employees who have successfully completed the initial review period are not subject to another initial review period when transferred or promoted to another position within the university. Since they have already completed an initial review period, they are covered under the policy on “corrective action and standards of conduct.”

Appeal Procedure

The university’s appeal procedures do not apply to employees during the initial review period.