FMA URGES HOUSE ARMED SERVICES COMMITTEE TO OPPOSE CHANGE TO DOD PROBATIONARY PERIOD - June 12, 2019
In 2015, Congress granted the Department of Defense (DOD) a two-year probationary period as part of the FY2016 NDAA (P.L. 114-92). FMA strongly supported the effort, as extending the probationary period has long been one of the association's legislative priorities. Regrettably, language in the House Subcommittee on Readiness Mark for the Fiscal Year 2020 National Defense Authorization Act would change DOD's probationary period to one year.
When DOD announced the extended probationary period in October 2016, it explained the reason for the extension was “one year often does not allow sufficient time for a supervisor to form conclusions regarding the performance of a new employee.” It cited examples that a new hire “spends much of the first year in training before beginning work,” and “don’t have an opportunity to demonstrate all the skills associated with their positions.” Further, DOD noted “the longer probationary period offers employees a greater opportunity to showcase their talents and for supervisors to properly assess their capabilities.” FMA agrees with this assessment.
The House Armed Services Committee began its markup of the legislation on June 12, 2019. FMA National President Renee Johnson wrote every member of the committee, urging opposition to changing DOD's probationary period from two years to one. FMA will oppose this change to DOD's probationary period at every step of the legislative process as the bill advances to the House floor and in conference with the Senate.
To read FMA's letter to the House Armed Services Committee, please click here.