Meetings of the Civil Service Commission
Ralph M. Brown Act: (Amended 5/16/94 Res 203-94)
The Commission is a legislative body of a local agency, the County of Santa Cruz, and therefore subject to the provisions of the Ralph M. Brown Act, Government Code Sections 54950-549, governing the conduct of public meetings. By its nature, the Commission will conduct closed executive sessions from time to time to consider the appointment, employment, or dismissal of public officers and employees and to hear complaints or charges brought against such officers or employees. Such officers and employees have the right to request a public hearing in such cases.
At least seventy-two (72) hours prior to each regular meeting, an agenda for the regular meeting shall be mailed to each Commission member, and to each representative of the news media, and to each other person who has submitted a written request to the Commission for notification of meetings, and shall be posted at least seventy-two (72) hours prior to the regular meeting at a location that is freely accessible to the public. The agenda shall contain a brief general description of each item of business to be transacted or discussed at the meeting. No action or discussion shall be undertaken on any item not appearing on the posted agenda except that members of the Commission may briefly respond to statements made or questions posed by persons exercising their public testimony rights or ask a question for clarification, refer the matter to staff or to other resources for factual information, or request staff to report back at a subsequent meeting concerning any matter. Notwithstanding the foregoing, action may be taken on an item of business not appearing on the posted agenda upon a determination by two-thirds vote of the membership of the Commission, or if less than two-thirds of the members are present, by unanimous vote of those members present, that there is a need to take immediate action and that the need for action came to the attention of the County subsequent to the agenda being posted.
At least twenty-four (24) hours prior to each special meeting, an agenda for the special meeting shall be delivered to each Commission member and to each representative of the news media personally or by any other means and mailed to each other person who has submitted a written request to the Commission for notification of meetings; and shall be posted at least twenty-four (24) hours prior to the special meeting at a location that is freely accessible to members of the public. No business other than that listed on the agenda shall be considered at a special meeting.
Under limited circumstances set forth in Government Code Section 54956.5, the Commission may hold an emergency meeting without complying with the usual advance notice and posting requirements. The news media shall be notified by telephone one (1) hour prior to the emergency meeting, or, in the case of a dire emergency, at or near the time that the Chairperson or designee notifies the Commissioners of the emergency meeting.
Public participation in Commission meetings shall be allowed as follows:
1.) An opportunity for members of the public to directly address the Commission on any item of the agenda of interest to the public shall be provided before or during the Commissionís consideration of the item.
2.) In addition, the agenda will provide for community and oral communications on items not on the agenda which are within the subject matter jurisdiction of the Commission at the beginning of each regular meeting agenda.
3.) The chairperson of the Commission may establish reasonable limits on the amount of time allocated to each speaker on a particular item, and the Commission may establish reasonable limits on the total amount of time allocated for public testimony on a particular item or the total amount of time allotted for community oral communications. When further discussion is required, the Commission may vote to allot time in the agenda of the following meeting.
All subcommittees shall comply with the notice and agenda requirements otherwise applicable to the Commission, except for subcommittees composed solely of less than a quorum of the members of the Commission which are not standing subcommittees of the Commission with either a continuing subject matter jurisdiction or a meeting schedule fixed by resolution or other formal action of the Commission.
Meetings: Meetings of the Commission shall be held as necessary to conduct business on a timely basis.
Quorum: Three members of the Commission shall constitute a quorum for the conduct of business and the affirmative votes of three members shall be required to give effect to any action of the Commission.
(BOS Approved 4-29-2003; Resolution 93-2003, Amending No. 247-76.)
Administration of the Civil Service System
Authority: The rules herein are adopted pursuant to the Santa Cruz County Code, particularly Chapters 2.46 and 3.20 thereof which delegate rule-making powers to the Civil Service Commission, subject to the approval of the Board of Supervisors. These rules shall have authority of law.
When Effective: These rules and amendments hereto shall be effective upon order of the Board of Supervisors.
Changes in Rules: These rules may be amended only after ten days notice of intent to amend and after a public hearing of those seeking to be heard.
Construction: The construction, interpretation, effect, validity, and definitions of these rules shall be governed by the Santa Cruz County Code, Title 3 (Personnel).
Notice to Employees: Where these rules require that notice be given to any employee, unless otherwise specified in these rules, such notice shall be given in writing by personal delivery to the employee, or by mailing such notice by United States mail, postage prepaid, in an envelope addressed to the employee at his/her last known residential address or by posting on a bulletin board which is accessible to employees.
Appeals to the Civil Service Commission:
Scope of Appeal: Unless otherwise governed by specified procedures, any affected applicant or employee may appeal an action or decision of the Personnel Director to the Commission on the grounds of his/her failure to observe or properly apply those Sections of the Ordinance Code which comprise the Limited Civil Service System or these Civil Service Rules.
Avenue and Time Limit of Appeal: Unless otherwise governed by specified time limits, actions appealable to the Civil Service Commission must be filed on a Civil Service Commission Appeal Form which can be obtained from the Secretary to the Commission. The Appeal Form shall be filed with the Secretary to the Commission within seven (7) calendar days of the action or decision which is being appealed. The Secretary to the Commission shall forward the completed Appeal Form and the action appealed to the Civil Service Commission forthwith for scheduling a hearing. Hearings for appeals shall be scheduled in accordance with County Code Section 3.24.030.
Required Content of Appeal Form: The Appeal Form shall include the following information:
a) the appellant's name;
b) position and County Department of appellant;
c) the name, address, and phone number of the appellant's representative, if any;
d) the specific action being appealed;
e) the corrective action desired;
f) the Ordinance Code Section or Civil Service Rule alleged to have been violated, improperly interpreted, applied, or misapplied; and
g) signature of appellant or appellant's representative.
Calculation of Time Lines: If the final date of a time period within which an action must be taken under these appeal procedures falls on a non-working day, the time line is extended to the close of business on the next working day.
(Amended 11/22/94, Res. 561-94; amended 8/26/97, Res. 344-97)
Appeals of Disciplinary Actions:
Hearings and Continuances of Appeals of Disciplinary Actions: The scheduling of a hearing for an appeal under this sub-section (E) shall be determined by the Civil Service Commission. Should a party to the appeal request a continuance of a hearing, said request must be presented in writing to the Secretary of the Commission and at the same time to the opposing party, and must be received by them in advance of the scheduled hearing date; such request shall specify the basis for the continuance, indicate the manner in which the opposing party was contacted regarding the continuance and state any objections the opposing party has to the continuance, and identify three alternative dates for any continuance from the Civil Service Hearing Calendar (first and third Wednesday of the month). The Commission Chairperson may grant the continuance upon a showing of good cause after consideration of any objections to the continuance. In no event shall a hearing be continued beyond 45 days from the date of the scheduled hearing. In accordance with County Code Section 3.24.030 (c), appellants who request a continuance beyond 30 days from the filing of the appeal waive any claim for additional compensation arising as a result of the continuance.
Pre-hearing Statement for Appeals of Disciplinary Actions: Immediately upon the date being set for the hearing before the Civil Service Commission, the Secretary of the Commission will issue a letter notifying the parties of the date for hearing and reiterating the following pre-hearing procedures with which the parties to the appeal must comply:
Informal Settlement Conference: As early as possible, but at least fourteen (14) days in advance of the hearing date, the representatives of the parties to the appeal must contact each other to discuss settlement of the appeal. Should a party to the appeal not be represented, that party must contact the representative of the other party to discuss settlement of the appeal.
Pre-hearing Statement: Each party to the appeal must submit to the Secretary of the Commission no later than ten (10) days prior to the hearing eight copies of a pre-hearing statement containing the below listed information. The Secretary of the Commission shall forward each party's pre-hearing statement to the Commissioners, the Commission attorney, and the opposing party.
(1) Party - The names of the party(ies) involved with this matter and in whose behalf the materials are filed and identification of the appellant's representative, if any. Nothing in these rules shall limit the right of a party to be represented at a hearing by a representative of their own choosing.
(2) Jurisdiction and Challenge - A statement as to whether the party(ies) challenge the jurisdiction of the Civil Service Commission to hear the matter.
(3) Settlement Conference - A statement regarding the efforts taken to comply with the requirements of paragraph 2(a), above. Neither party shall reveal the substance of any settlement discussions, but rather state whether or not a settlement conference occurred and if not, why not.
(4) Framing of the Issues/Defense - A statement of the issue or issues and any defenses to be considered by the Commission.
(5) The Remedy and Findings - Each party to state the remedy they are seeking from the Commission. Further, as part of the pre-hearing statement, each party is to propose the findings the Commission must make if the requested remedy is granted.
(a) Undisputed Facts - A plain and concise statement of all material facts not disputed.
(b) Disputed Factual Issues - A plain and concise statement of all disputed factual issues.
(c) Stipulations - A statement of stipulations requested or proposed.
(7) Time Frame of Witness - A list of the witnesses to be called at the hearing, together with an estimate of time required for each witness's testimony. The witness list may be revised up to two days prior to the hearing.
(8) Declarations - Eight copies of any declaration(s) to be presented at the hearing from unavailable witnesses. Any such declaration(s) must also discuss the reason why the witness is unavailable to testify at the hearing. No declaration will be received into evidence at the hearing unless it is included with the pre-hearing statement or is offered from a witness on the witness list and is provided to the opposing party at least two days in advance of the hearing.
(9) Exhibits - Eight copies of each item of any documented evidence which the party intend to introduce at the hearing. For recordings or large volume reports only two copies are required. In the event the parties stipulate to the submission of joints exhibits, the County will submit those exhibits.
(10) Estimation of Hearing Time - An estimate of the time required for presentation of each party's case.
(11) Closed Hearing - A statement as to whether or not the hearing is to be considered open to the public. Absence of such a statement will be interpreted that the appellant wishes the matter to be held in closed session.
(12) Cause for Late Submission - If the pre-hearing statement is submitted late, the reason for the late filing must be stated. The Commission may refuse to accept a pre-hearing statement and the documentation attached thereto as evidence if the Commission finds that there was not good cause for the late filing.
Communications between parties: During the pendency of an appeal, any written or oral communication with the appellant shall be addressed to the appellant directly, if the appellant is unrepresented. If the appellant is represented, all written or oral communications from the Commission Secretary and the Appointing Authority shall be directed to the appellant's representative as designated in the Notice of Appeal. Notice of any change in the appellant's representative during the pendency of an appeal must be provided in writing to the Secretary of the Commission and the County Counsel's office as representative of the Appointing Authority.
During the pendency of an appeal, neither party may communicate either orally or in writing directly with a Commission member. All written communications regarding an appeal must be sent to the entire Commission through the Secretary of the Commission and include proof that the opposing party already has been served a copy of the communication.
a. The Commission shall have the power to issue subpoenas or subpoenas duces tecum for any investigation for hearing. At least 10 days before a scheduled hearing the party desiring a subpoena/ subpoena duces tecum shall notify the Secretary to the Commission that a subpoena is necessary and important for the production of witnesses and/or documents. The name and last known address and telephone number of the witness or the identification of records and the name and address of the custodian of such records shall be provided to the Secretary. The Secretary shall immediately prepare a subpoena/subpoena duces tecum on the attached form and shall provide it to the Chair for execution and issuance. Upon execution the Secretary shall deliver the subpoena/ subpoena duces tecum to the Sheriff for service unless the party desiring the subpoena/subpoena duces tecum wishes to serve the subpoena.
b. The official return of the Sheriff upon the subpoena showing the time and place of service is prima facie evidence of service. Should a witness who has been properly served a Commission subpoena fail, refuse or neglect to appear or testify at a hearing or as part of an investigation he/she shall be deemed in contempt. The Chair of the Commission shall report such contempt to the judge of the Superior Court who shall have jurisdiction over the matter. The same penalties may be imposed and the same punishment inflicted as in the case of a witness subpoenaed to appear and give evidence on the trial of a civil cause before a superior court.
c. When a subpoena requires the attendance of a witness or the production of books, documents or other things before the Commission, the Commission, upon motion reasonably made by the party, the witness, or any consumer described or upon the Commission's own motion after giving counsel notice and an opportunity to be heard, may make an order quashing the subpoena entirely, modifying it, or directing compliance with it upon such terms or conditions as the Commission shall declare. In addition, the Commission may make any other order as may be appropriate to protect the parties, the witness, or the consumer from unreasonable or oppressive demands including unreasonable violations of a witness's or consumer's right of privacy.
a. Written Statements: Either party to an appeal may submit, no later than two (2) days prior to the date for hearing a written brief or statement addressing any legal issue raised in either party's pre-hearing statement. Eight copies must be submitted.
b. Objections to Evidence: If a party objects to the introduction of any exhibit attached to the opposing party's pre-hearing statement, the party must submit eight copies of a short written statement no later than two days in advance of the hearing , identifying the exhibit and the reason why the exhibit should not be introduced as evidence at the hearing. The Commission may rule on all written objections to evidence at the beginning of the hearing. All exhibits timely submitted with the pre-hearing statement and not the subject of a written objection may not be objected to at the hearing by the opposing party.
Decisions After Hearing: Upon the conclusion of the hearing, the Commission may direct the parties to address either orally or in writing any legal issue raised in the appeal. After deliberation on the merits of the appeal, the Commission shall issue its decision in writing either to affirm, modify or revoke the order appealed. With respect to a modification of an order of dismissal, the Commission has the authority under County Code Section 3.24.030 to suspend an employee for a period up to and in excess of thirty (30) days or to take other actions. The findings and decisions of the Commission shall be certified to the appellant and the Department Head or officer whose action was the basis for the appeal and shall be enforced forthwith.
Requests for Reconsideration:
Within ten (10) days from the date of the Commission's written decision, either party may file with the Secretary of the Commission a written request for reconsideration. The only issues that may be raised in a Request for Reconsideration are:
(1) Correction of clerical errors; and
(2) Claims that the Commission exceeds its authority in rendering its decision.
(3) Proof that a witness before the Commission committed perjury.
The Secretary to the Commission will provide a copy of any motion to the other party.
Opposition to a motion for reconsideration, if any, must be submitted to the Secretary of the Commission within seven (7) days of opposing party's receipt of the original motion for reconsideration.
The Commission shall consider the request for reconsideration at its earliest convenience. Should the Commission decide to reconsider its decision, the Commission may, in its discretion:
(1) Narrow the issues for reconsideration;
(2) Reopen the hearing for purposes of receiving additional testimony or exhibits; and/or
(3) Request additional oral argument or closing briefs.
(amended 11/22/94, Res. 561-94; amended 8/26/97, Res. 344-97)
Studies. The Civil Service Commission may make studies and recommendations on subjects within its areas of responsibility and the manner of administering programs within such areas.
Delegation of Authority: The Commission hereby delegates to the Personnel Director the Authority to administer the County Civil Service system in accordance with the County Code, 3.04, these rules and order of the Commission. The Personnel Director shall work under the direction of the County Administrative Officer on all matters pertaining to salaries or fringe benefits.
Commission Secretary: The Personnel Director or his/her designee shall attend all meetings of the Commission and act as its secretary.
Personnel Forms and Records: The Personnel Director shall prescribe forms suitable for the recording of information required to give effect to these rules and may require the submittal of these forms properly approved as a condition to taking the action herein required or permitted. The Personnel Director shall keep all such approved forms in suitable files or may accumulate the data on other records or forms for use in the administration of the Personnel Department.
Classification Plan: The classification plan shall consist of all County positions as grouped into classes as described by approved class specifications. The classification plan shall be adopted and may be revised as conditions require. The Director shall analyze the duties and responsibilities of all positions and shall recommend rules for the administration of the classification plan and for allocation of positions to classes.
Availability of Classification Plan: Copies of the classification plan are available for inspection in the Personnel Department during office hours.
Basis for Classification of Positions: All positions having substantially the same duties and responsibilities, requiring substantially the same qualifications, to which the same descriptive title can fairly be applied and which can properly be subject to the same salary schedule, shall be included in a single class.
Allocation of Positions to Classes: Positions shall be allocated to their appropriate class upon comparison of the duties and responsibilities of the position with the class specifications. If the positions cannot be properly allocated to any existing class, then the creation of a new class shall be proposed.
Class Specifications: The classification plan shall include a class specification for each class. Each class specification will include the following information:
A brief definition or description of the scope and nature of the class.
A detailed statement of tasks assigned to positions which are allocated to the class, which lists, however, shall be for illustrative purposes and shall not be regarded as inclusive or exclusive lists of tasks to be required in positions allocated to the class.
A statement of the education, experience, knowledge, skills, abilities and physical characteristics required or deemed desirable in the class.
A statement where necessary, of the particular factors or features which distinguish one class from other related classes.
Use of Class Titles: The class titles established in the classification plan shall be used in all official records of the County relating to the personnel transactions.
Positions Covered: All positions in the classified service, except those excluded by ordinance, shall be classified according to their duties and responsibilities.
Classification of New Positions:
For the purpose of this section, a "new position" is defined as one which is not provided in the approved budget of the affected department.
Whenever any appointing authority desires to have created any new position, a written request and a specific description of the duties of such position shall be made to the County Administrative Officer.
The County Administrative Officer shall first make a report and recommendation to the Board as to the need for such a new position. If the position is allowed, the Board shall refer the position to the Personnel Director for classification.
Reclassification: Whenever any appointing authority believes that the duties and responsibilities of any position under his/her jurisdiction warrant allocation of a different class, a written request and a specific description of the duties shall be made to the Personnel Director.
The Personnel Director may initiate reclassification studies based on a written request from an employee, or based on the Personnel Director's own initiative.
Delegation of Classification Actions: Notwithstanding other provisions of these rules, the authority to classify or reclassify positions, and to create, modify or abolish classes and class specifications, and to establish or abolish alternate staffing for alternate classes, is delegated to the Personnel Director subject to the following:
The duties of the position are consistent with the class specification approved for the class.
The change does not result in a new program or service or departmental reorganization which has not been approved by the Board of Supervisors.
The operating department head involved agrees with the proposed action.
The Union agrees if the position is in their bargaining unit.
A quarterly report shall be submitted to the Civil Service Commission showing all classification actions including alternate staffing for alternate classes designation taken under this delegated authority.
If the action is to abolish an existing class or to create a new class, the action is final upon adoption by the Board.
(Amended 12/9/86, Res. 652-86)
Notice and Hearing on Proposed Classification Action: Any employees affected by any change in the classification plan or in the allocation of their position shall be notified of the intent to take such action by their department and shall be given a reasonable opportunity to be heard by the Personnel Director or, on appeal, by the Commission.
Alternate Staffing and Alternate Classes: Alternative staffing is a procedure which permits a position to be filled at one of several related class levels. Under alternate staffing, once the class of a position is established by the Civil Service Commission, the position may be filled at that class level or a lower related class level. The classes at which a position may be filled under alternate staffing will be determined by the Civil Service Commission or by the Personnel Director under delegated authority, and are termed "alternate classes." The Personnel Department will maintain records of the alternate classes approved for each such position and of positions approved for alternate staffing.
The purpose of alternate staffing is to delegate to the department head flexibility in the use of classes to meet work load changes or changes in available labor workforce, and to enhance the retention of an employee hired at a lower class level. This delegation increases the department head's responsibility for:
(a) maintaining proper balance between duties and class level;
(b) provision of training and supervision appropriate to the level of the employee; and
(c) hiring and promoting employees based on level of difficulty of assignments and proficiency rather than only an attainment of minimum experience required for the higher class.
(Amended 12/9/86, Res. 652-86; 5/23/95, Res. 170-95)
Effect of Upward Reclassification of Position Upon Incumbent:
When an occupied position is reclassified upward, regular promotional examination and certification procedures will apply with the exception that a qualifying examination may be held at the discretion of the Personnel Director to test fitness when:
an entire class is being reclassified, involving the abolition of the former class and reclassification of all positions to a higher class; or
a position is reclassified upward and it is clear that the duties of the position have evolved without any purpose on the part of anyone to evade the competitive principle of the merit system, provided that the incumbent has occupied the position for at least one year and the reclassification is between classes in the same occupational group.
If no eligible list exists for the higher level class, the Personnel Department shall conduct an examination within 90 days following approval of the reclassification by the Board of Supervisors.
If an incumbent is notified that he/she cannot be appointed to the higher level class, the incumbent may remain at the existing level for a maximum of 60 days with the approval of the appointing authority, provided that no other appointment is made to the position. During the 60 days, the incumbent may:
be appointed to a previous class in accordance with Section 3.28.040 (Appointment to Previous Class); or
transfer in accordance with Section 3.28.080 (Transfer); or
take a demotion in accordance with Section 3.28.030 (Appointment to Vacant Position).
Notwithstanding other sections of these rules, an incumbent who remains in the position at the end of the 60-day period in (3) above shall be laid off.
Applicants for employment will be required to meet such reasonable standards of education and experience, knowledge, skills, and abilities, and personal and physical characteristics as are prescribed in the class specification, and which will assure that the candidates are reasonably well qualified to successfully perform the duties of the positions in which they seek employment.
All candidates for employment and employees shall be required to have the physical and mental ability necessary to perform the essential functions of their positions.
All applicants and employees must meet the minimum qualifications and standards prescribed by the State Legislature for County officers or employees of the particular class.
The Personnel Director may meet with appointing authorities and shall give consideration to qualifications for employment suggested by appointing authorities.
Applicability of Employment Standards.
lack of any of the established preliminary requirements;
physical or mental limitations rendering the applicant or employee incapable of performing the essential functions of the position after considering reasonable accommodation;
use of illegal drugs or abuse of intoxicating substances in the workplace, or, for positions defined as peace officers under State law, a history of substance abuse;
conviction of any felony or of a misdemeanor which is significantly related to the duties of the position;
any prior activity that would identify the applicant or employee as a substantial risk to the security of funds, property, or safety of the public or employees encountered in the performance of duties of the class;
the use or attempted use of influence to gain advantage during the examination or selection process;
any false statement of material fact in connection with any stage of the examination, selection, appointment or employment process;
any deception or fraud in any stage of the examination or selection process, such as directly or indirectly obtaining information regarding examinations to which, as an applicant, he/she was entitled or taking part in the compilation, administration or correction of the examinations;
failure to sign the Loyalty Oath required by law, or modifying the Loyalty Oath so as to substantially alter its intent;
failure to submit his/her application correctly or within the prescribed time limits; or
violation of provision of the Civil Service Rules, County Ordinances, or State laws (including Government Code Sections 31114 and 31115), or rules or regulations adopted pursuant thereto, governing personnel matters.
(Amended 2/5/85, Res. 17C-85)
Purpose of Examinations: A system of examination is to be used to determine whether candidates meet the standards and qualifications, and further to determine the relative qualifications of candidates to perform the duties of the positions they seek.
Filing of Qualifications Statement: To qualify for examinations, candidates shall file a statement of qualifications upon a form or forms prescribed by the Personnel Director.
Examination Announcements: The official examination announcement will show:
title and salary range for the class;
typical duties to be performed;
minimum qualification requirements as officially established and such alternative equivalent standards for education or experience as may be approved by the Personnel Director;
which components of the examination process might be administered during the process, but allow the actual components of the examination process to be determined after the final filing date based on number of applicants and level of applicants qualifications;
other special conditions for admission to the examination, certification and employment; and
final date applications may be filed if established.
Publicizing Examinations: Examination announcements shall be released in sufficient time to provide a reasonable time for filing applications. Except for continuous recruitment, public announcement of all entrance examinations shall be made at least seven calendar days in advance of the closing date for receipt of applications. Examinations, however, may be announced on a continuous basis.
An applicant who is not admitted to an examination because of failure to meet the basic employment standards or additional screening criteria which may include a competitive screening of qualifications, used in determining finalists shall be notified by either U.S. mail, telephone or electronic mail. Following the notice of application review, additional information may be provided by the applicant to the Personnel Director to demonstrate that the applicant meets the minimum qualifications for the position. This information must be provided before the date of the examination is established. The Personnel Director shall review any additional information, take appropriate action, and notify the applicant of the appropriate action.
Appeal of examination questions. Appeals of individual examination questions must be filed with the Personnel Director immediately following the administration of the examination component containing the appealed question. Appeals of an examination question will not be accepted once a grade has been assigned. Appealed questions will be reviewed by subject matter experts and testing specialists who will make a final determination on the retention or deletion of the question.
Other examination appeals. Any appeal of an examination practice not covered in paragraphs 1 or 2 above must be filed in writing with the Personnel Director immediately following the administration of the examination practice. Appeals of an examination practice will not be accepted once a grade has been assigned. The Personnel Director shall respond to all appeals filed in a timely manner. Appeals of the Personnel Director's decision may be filed with the Civil Service Commission within 7 days of notice of the response of the Personnel Director. The Civil Service Commission shall review the appeal and the response of the Personnel Director and shall make a determination. The Civil Service Commission may use its discretion as to whether the appellant shall appear in person. The decision of the Civil Service Commission on any appeal shall be final.
Nature of Tests. The Personnel Director shall prepare or direct the preparation of such tests of knowledge, skill, ability, personal or physical characteristics as may be required to determine the fitness of candidates, which tests may be written, oral, in the form of ratings of training and experience, or in the form of practical demonstrations of skill, or in any combination of these which may be most practicable.
Assignment of Examination Weights. The Personnel Director shall assign weights to each part of the examination. The weights assigned to each part of the examination may be determined after the final filing date.
Frequency of Examinations. Examinations may be given as frequently as the needs of County Government may require or justify. Except for equivalent forms of the same test, candidates who have taken the written, oral or performance portion of an examination may not take the same examination until 90 calendar days have elapsed from the original examination date. Subject to determination by the Personnel Director, a candidate may or may not be required to retake portions of an examination that were originally passed dependent upon the similarity of the examination content, with the exception that the entire examination must be retaken after 180 days have elapsed from the date of original examination. If an individual has been continuously employed in a class for Santa Cruz County which requires the same or higher skill level, the Personnel Director may waive this retake provision.
Examination Review. To ensure that future use of tests will not be invalidated, contents of written, oral or performance examinations are not subject to review.
Term of Candidate's Eligibility. The rules prescribed and enforced by the Civil Service Commission shall provide for the creation of eligible lists upon which shall appear the names of successful applicants in the order of their standing in the examinations. Such eligible lists shall remain in effect for a maximum period of two years subject to the needs of various County departments as determined by the Personnel Director. However, if a list is abolished prior to being in effect for a period of six months, the applicants on that list may transfer their eligibility to any new list established for the same position. The term of the applicants eligibility shall continue from the date of the establishment of the original list.
Scoring Examinations: The Personnel Director shall determine a final score for each applicant's examination in accordance with the weights for the several parts. Failure in any part of an examination shall disqualify the applicant in the entire examination. Subject to rules regarding veteran's preference, all applicants for the same class of position shall be accorded uniform and equal treatment in all phases of the examination procedure. The Personnel Director shall use appropriate techniques and procedures in scoring examination and for setting the passing grade, due regard may be given to the number of candidates and to the number of vacancies which may reasonably be expected to occur in the life of the eligible list.
Rating of Training and Experience: If training and experience form a part of the total examination, the Personnel Director shall determine a procedure for the evaluation of the training and experience qualifications of the various applicants. Due regard shall be given to recency and quality, as well as quantity of experience and to the pertinence of the training.
Investigations: The Personnel Director may establish rules and procedures for investigating and verifying the applicant's training, experience, character, and fitness.
Veteran's Preference Credit: In establishing eligible lists resulting from examinations, the Personnel Director shall include the 5 percent credit for veteran's preference on open examinations, wherever appropriate, provided by the County Civil Service Ordinance. Applicants shall submit proof of military service by the final filing date.
Oral Examinations: When an oral examination forms part of a total examination, the Personnel Director shall appoint an examination board, which shall consist of three or more persons, of which at least one shall be familiar with the requirements of the job or character of work in the class examined. In the event of last minute circumstances, beyond the control of the Personnel Director, an oral board of two members may render an official rating. Appointing authorities may observe oral examinations but shall not serve as raters for positions for which they are the appointing authority.
Notice of Examination Results: Each applicant passing all parts of the examination shall be notified by the Personnel Director of the final rating as soon as the eligible list is established. Eligibles, upon written request and presentation of proper identification, shall be entitled to information concerning their relative position on a list. Applicants who fail any part of the examination or the total examination shall be notified of their failure.
Establishing of Eligible Lists: After each examination, the Personnel Director shall prepare an eligible list of persons with passing grades. The names of such persons shall be placed on the eligible list in the order of their final rating starting with the highest. The names of all eligibles with the same (tied) score will be certified together.
Alternate Eligible Lists: If a vacancy exists in a class for which there is no eligible list, or there are five or fewer applicants available from the eligible list, the Personnel Director may prepare an appropriate eligible list for the class from one or more existing eligible lists. For this purpose, the Personnel Director shall select eligible lists for classes for which the minimum qualifications and examinations are similar to or higher than those required for the class in which the vacancy exists.
Manpower Training Lists
At the request of the appointing authority and with the approval of the Personnel Director, an individual who has satisfactorily completed a minimum of 1040 hours of service in a manpower training program, established for entry level positions and approved by the Personnel Director, may be placed on a manpower training employment list. (Amended 6/9/81)
Such a request must be in writing and include an evaluation of the individual's work performance. Such satisfactory and approved work performance shall constitute the examination process.
The individual must meet all minimum requirements for the entry level class and serve the standard probationary period upon appointment.
Transfer of Eligibility: Upon approval by the Personnel Director, the names of individuals having permanent status under the classified service of a public agency operating a civil service or merit system recognized by the California County Merit System may be placed on an open employment list for a comparable class in the Santa Cruz County Service. In each case, the following conditions must be met:
The class in which employment is contemplated must possess the same or lesser minimum qualifications as the class in which the individual holds permanent status.
The individual must have been employed by the other public agency within one year prior to the date of his/ her application to the County of Santa Cruz.
There must be written information submitted by the other public agency and on file with the Personnel Department confirming the individual's permanent status and containing the following statements:
(a) The employment record of the individual has been entirely satisfactory.
(b) The individual has not been separated nor been considered for separation, due to fault or delinquency on his/her part.
(c) The individual was appointed to the class in which he/she holds permanent status from an eligible list resulting from a qualifying or competitive examination.
(d) If not currently employed by the other agency, the individual is eligible for re-employment in the class in which he/ she holds permanent status.
(e) The class in which permanent status is held appears to the other public agency to be closely related and comparable or greater in duties and qualifications to the class in which employment with Santa Cruz County is contemplated.
The names of such individuals shall be placed on the employment list in the order of their approval and shall follow any names which may already appear on the employment list. (Amended 11/22/83)
Qualifying Examinations. A "qualifying examination" is defined as a non-competitive examination. The result of such an examination is either a "pass" or "fail"; there is no rank on an eligible list. Qualifying examinations may be held at the discretion of the Personnel Director to test fitness:
For transfer or demotion of a permanent or probationary employee to a vacancy in a different class within the same occupational group; or
When an entire class is being reclassified, involving the abolition of the former class and reclassification of all positions to a higher class; or
When a position is reclassified upward and it is clear that the duties of the position have evolved without any purpose on the part of anyone to evade the competitive principles of the merit system, provided that the incumbent has occupied the position for at least one year and the reclassification is between classes in the same occupational group; or
When an employee is in a position that is reclassified and the reclassification represents a transfer or demotion in relationship to the former class and is within the same occupational group; or
For promotion of an incumbent to the next higher alternate class approved by the Civil Service Commission for a position; or
For appointment to a position in a class in which an employee had previous status, in accordance with County Code Section 4.05.520 (Appointment to Previous Class); or
For placement on a Manpower Training List in accordance with Civil Service Rules, Section V. S. 1; or
When ten or less applicants for an examination meet the minimum qualifications, and the examination consists of an evaluation of the training and experience qualifications of the applicants; provided, however, that the examination announcement must so state that this provision may be applied. (Amended 1/4/83)
(Revised 12/11/79; 1/15/80; 1/4/83 Reissued 6/84)
SECTION VI - APPOINTMENT AND PROBATION
A. Notification of Vacancy. When a vacancy exists, for which a replacement is desired, the department head shall inform the Personnel Director of the class title and special qualifications necessary in filling the position.
B. Certification of Eligibles.
a. Alternate Eligible Lists. An eligible list for a class with comparable or higher employment standards than the class with a vacancy, when no eligible list is available or there are five or fewer applicants available from the list for the class in which the vacancy exists.
b. Alternate Employment Lists. An employment list, other than an Open Competitive or Promotional Eligible list, for a class with comparable or higher employment standards than the class with a vacancy.
c. Certification. The official submission by the Personnel Director to an appointing authority of the names of eligibles from an appropriate employment list.
d. Eligible. A person whose name is on an employment list.
e. Eligible List. An official list of names of applicants who successfully passed an examination for a class and whose names are assigned in order of rank for certification to positions in a specific class.
f. Employment List. A list of persons who may be considered for employment or re-employment in a class.
g. Overfill List. A list of permanent or probationary employees whose positions have been reclassified downward but who remain in their former class, and whose names may be considered for appointment to a vacant, regular position in the same class.
h. Re-entry List. A list of employees who were laid off or displaced when probationary, whose names may be considered for appointment to a vacant position in the class from which laid off or displaced. (Amended 11/22/83)
i. Right To Return to Former Class List. A list of employees who have a right to return to their former class because of a release from a promotional probationary period or probation period resulting from a reclassification. This list shall not include the names of employees who were released from probation following a voluntary or involuntary demotion.†
j. Re-employment List. A list of permanent displaced employees who were permanent when displaced or laid off, whose names may be considered for reappointment to a vacant position in the class from which laid off or displaced.
2. Priority of Use of Types of Employment Lists.
The Personnel Director shall certify to the appointing authority the names and addresses of eligibles who have demonstrated by examination that they are qualified to perform the duties of the class and that they have the required special qualifications.
The appointing authority shall fill the vacancy by appointing or reappointing a person from among those certified. (An appointing authority may also fill a vacancy through other provisions including demotion and appointment to a prior class, when appropriate.)
The order in which lists will be certified shall be as follows:
a. Departmental Overfill List. Certification from a departmental overfill list takes precedent over all other types of certification. No other types of appointments are possible in the face of a department overfill list unless the employee(s) so decline(s) the offer of employment.
b. Departmental Re-employment List. Certification of departmental re-employment takes precedent over all other types of certification, except a departmental overfill list.
c. Departmental Right To Return to Former Class List. Certification of departmental Right to Return to Former Class takes precedent over other types of lists except a departmental overfill and a departmental re-employment list.
d. Countywide Overfill List.
e. Countywide Re-employment List.
f. Countywide Right To Return to Former Class List.
g. Open Competitive and Promotional Eligible Lists.
h. Transfer, Reinstatement, Re-entry, and Manpower Training Lists. Certification from Transfer, Reinstatement, Re-Entry, and Manpower Training Lists may be made along with Certification from eligible lists. (Amended 11/22/83)
i. Alternate Eligible Lists. Certification from an alternate eligible list may be made when there are 5 or fewer applicants available from the eligible list for the class in which the vacancy exists.
j. Alternate Employment Lists. Certification from an alternate employment list may be made when there are five or fewer applicants available from the eligible list for the class in which the vacancy exists.
3. Order in which Names are Certified from List.
Amended 10/1/85 Res.550a-85; 11/22/94 Res. 561-94;
a. Departmental Overfill List. Certification from a departmental overfill list is on a "rule of one" basis -- one name for one vacancy in order of seniority. The person certified must be offered the vacancy. The names of all persons with the same (tied) seniority will be certified together. The department may select from among those with the same seniority.
b. Departmental Re-employment List. Certification from a departmental re-employment list is on a "rule of one" basis -- one name for one vacancy in order of seniority. The person whose name is certified must be offered the vacancy. The names of all persons with the same (tied) seniority will be certified together. The department may select from among those with the same seniority.
c. Departmental Right to Return to Former Class List. Certification from a departmental right to return to former class list is on a "rule of one" basis -- one name for one vacancy in order of seniority. The persons whose name is certified must be offered the vacancy. The names of all persons with the same (tied) seniority will be certified together. The department may select from among those with the same seniority.
d. Countywide Overfill List. All names on the countywide overfill list are certified together as a bloc in no particular order.
e. Countywide Re-employment List. All names on the countywide re-employment list are certified in a bloc in order of seniority.
f. Countywide Right to Return to Former Class List. All names on the countywide right to return to former class list are certified in a bloc in order of seniority.
g. Open Competitive and Promotional and Extra-Help Eligible Lists.
1) Certification from open competitive and promotional eligible lists is on a "rule of ten" basis -- ten names for one vacant position in exam score order. If there is more than one vacancy, an additional name is certified for each additional vacancy. The names of all eligibles with the same (tied) score will be certified together. (While the Personnel Director may refer an entire eligible list, only those certified may be considered by the appointing authority for one vacancy.)
2) For eligible lists for classes that are exclusively extra help, such as those for summer programs, the Personnel Director may certify an entire eligible list and the department may contact as many candidates as necessary, in examination score order, to meet their time line and staffing needs, provided that all candidates above those selected have been interviewed and cause for non-selection has been documented per standard procedure where required.
3) The Personnel Director may selectively certify applicants that possess bona fide occupational qualifications which are specific to the position being filled.
4) For hard-to-recruit-for positions, as defined by the Personnel Director, the Personnel Director may certify an entire eligible list. The appointing authority may consider, as a maximum, those eligibles which are certifiable as provided elsewhere in these rules.
h. Transfer, Re-entry and Reinstatement Lists. All names are referred together as a bloc in no particular order. (Amended 11/22/83)
i. Manpower Training List. All names on the Manpower Training List are referred together as a bloc. Names appear on the list in order of the date on which placed on the list.
j. Alternate Eligible List. Names on an alternate eligible list developed from an open competitive or promotional eligible list shall be certified on the same basis as certification from a regular open competitive or promotional eligible list.
k. Alternate Employment Lists. Names on alternate list developed from other than an open competitive or promotional eligible list shall be certified together as a bloc in no particular order.
4. Interview Requirements. Amended 10/1/85 Res.550a-85
a. Re-interview Provisions (all lists). When the department official making the hiring decision (from the eligibles certified) has already interviewed an individual for a previous certification for the class within the previous six months, the official may make a hiring decision without conducting an additional interview with the individual. Notwithstanding the above, the Personnel Director may require the departmental official to conduct and additional interview with the individual. (Amended 1/4/83)
b. Countywide Overfill List. Departments must offer to interview all persons on the list prior to receiving certification from another employment list with a lower priority.
c. Countywide Re-employment List. Departments must offer all persons on a countywide re-employment list the opportunity to be interviewed, provided, however, that when an open competitive or promotional eligible list and a re-employment list exist for the class, the appointing authority may be authorized to make a selection from the eligible list by the Personnel Director.
d. Countywide Right to Return to Former Class List. Departments must offer to interview all persons on the list prior to receiving certification from another employment list with a lower priority.
e. Open Competitive and Promotional Eligible Lists. As there is both an open competitive and promotional eligible list, departments may interview eligibles on both lists. However, departments need only interview from one list.
A department may request eligible lists on one of the following bases, unless approval is granted under 4a, above:
1) Departments may directly request the eligible lists and assume the responsibility of contacting the eligible candidates. Departments must offer to interview all persons on such a list above the eligible they choose to hire prior to making an offer of employment.
2) Departments may request Personnel to notify candidates on the eligible lists. Departments must offer to interview all persons who respond within five working days to a notice from the Personnel Department. Failure to respond to this notice will not automatically remove a candidate from an eligible list.
f. Transfer, Reinstatement, Re-Entry and Manpower Training Lists. Departments may interview as few or as many as deemed necessary. There is no requirement that persons be interviewed or selected except that all persons on a re-entry list must be offered an interview. (Amended 11/22/83)
g. Alternate Eligible List. Departments must offer to interview all persons on an alternate eligible list who respond within five working days to a notice from the Personnel Department unless approval is granted under 4a, above. Failure to respond to this notice will automatically remove a candidate from an eligible list.
h. Alternate Employment Lists. Departments may interview as few or as many persons on an alternate list developed from an employment list other than an open competitive or promotional eligible list. There is no requirement that persons be interviewed or selected.
C. Withholding or Removal of Names from Certification.
1. Overfill and Re-employment Lists - General. The names of persons who separate from County service voluntarily or for cause shall be removed from departmental and countywide overfill and re-employment lists.
2. Departmental Overfill List. An employee who declines an offer to be interviewed or an offer of appointment from a Departmental Overfill List shall have his/her name removed from the departmental and countywide overfill lists.
3. Departmental and Countywide Re-employment Lists. A laid off employee on a departmental or countywide re-employment list shall remain on those re-employment lists until:
a. He/she refuses one offer of an interview for, or one offer of re-employment in any department in the class from which laid off; OR
b. 24 months have elapsed from the date of original layoff, whichever occurs first.
A laid off employee's name may also be removed from re-employment lists on evidence that the person cannot be located by postal authorities.
The name of a person on a re-employment list who fails to reply within ten working days to a written certification notice shall be removed from the re-employment list. Such person's name may be restored to the list upon written request by the person.
Should a person serving a probation period as a result of an appointment from a countywide re-employment list not pass probation, that person's name shall be restored to the departmental and countywide re-employment lists for the period provided above, beginning from the date of restoration.
4. Departmental and Countywide Right to Return to Former Class List. An employee on a departmental or countywide right to return list shall remain on those lists until:
a. He/she refuses one offer of an interview for, or one offer of appointment in any department in the class ; OR
b. 24 months have elapsed from the list was established; whichever occurs first.
5. Countywide Overfill List. An employee who refuses three offers of interview and/or appointment from a countywide overfill list shall have his/her name removed from the departmental and countywide overfill lists.
6. Open Competitive, Promotional, Extra-Help Eligible Lists.
(Amended 2/5/85 Res. 17C-85)
a. Removal or withholding of names.
(1) The Personnel Director may remove the name of an eligible person from an eligible list for any of the reasons stipulated in Civil Service Rules Section IV B.
(2) The Personnel Director may remove a name from the eligible list on evidence that the eligible person cannot be located by postal authorities.
(3) The Personnel Director may remove the name of an eligible person that waives an interview three or more times during the life of the eligible list for the same classification. Such persons name may be restored to the list upon written request by the person and approved by the Personnel Director.
(4) The Personnel Director may withhold a name from certification on receipt of a statement from the eligible declining an appointment to a position.
(5) The Personnel Director may withhold a name from certification on receipt of a statement from the eligible stating he/she no longer desires consideration for a position in the class.
(6) The name of an eligible who fails to reply within five working days to a written notice shall be removed from the list. Such person's name may be restored to the list upon written request by the person.
(7) The name of an eligible who fails to appear for a scheduled interview shall be removed from the list. Such person's name may be restored to the list upon written request from the person listing a reasonable excuse for the failure to appear.
(8) The Personnel Director may remove an eligible name from the list where the appointing authority has filed a valid job related objection to the person remaining on the list.
(9) The name of an eligible who accepts an offer of employment and subsequently declines employment shall be removed from the list.
b. The Personnel Director shall promptly notify the eligible in writing of the removal or withholding of the eligible's name from certification and the reason therefore, so as to allow sufficient time for an appeal for 1), 3), 8), and 9) in (a) above. The eligible's name shall be returned to the eligible list upon showing cause satisfactory to the Personnel Director or in accordance with the decision of the Commission upon appeal.
7. Transfer, Reinstatement, Re-entry and Manpower Training Lists.
a. The Personnel Director may remove the name of a person from a Reinstatement, Re-Entry, or Manpower Training List for any of the reasons stipulated in Civil Service Rules Section IV B.
b. The Personnel Director may remove a name from a list on evidence that the person cannot be located by postal authorities.
c. The Personnel Director may withhold a name from certification to a department in which the appointing authority passes over the eligible's name in connection with three separate appointments, if the appointing authority submits valid reasons for withholding certification.
d. The name of a person on a list who fails to reply within five working days to a written notice shall be removed from the list. Such person's name may be restored to the list upon written request by the person.
8. The Personnel Director shall promptly notify in writing persons on employment lists whose names are removed from employment lists, under the provisions of Paragraph C, "Withholding or Removal of Names from Certification," and the reasons therefore. (Amended 11/22/83; 2/7/84)
D. Certification Methods. While the Personnel Director may refer an entire eligible list to a department, the appointing authority may consider, as a maximum, those eligibles which are certifiable as provided elsewhere in these rules.
If more than one vacancy in the same class is involved, one additional eligible may be considered for each additional vacancy.
1. Length of Probationary Period. Except as , a probationary period equivalent to no less than six months shall apply to all classes with the exception of certain classes approved by the Civil Service Commission which will have a probationary period equivalent to no more than one year. The Personnel Department will maintain a current list of these classes.
Notwithstanding the above, a probation period may be extended for a maximum of two months upon mutual agreement of the employee and the appointing authority. Such agreement shall be in writing and dated prior to the end of the regular probation period for the employee's classification.
An employee appointed from a County re-employment list to a position in a different department from the one from which laid off shall serve a probation period equivalent to six months regardless of the length of the probation period specified immediately above.
2. Probationary Status. No employee shall attain permanent status in any County classification without first having successfully completed the probation period for that classification. All persons appointed to regular or limited term positions in the classified service shall serve a probationary period if appointed to any class in which they have not previously held permanent status. A probationary period must also be served upon: reinstatement, substitute appointment, voluntary and involuntary demotion, appointment to a former higher class, appointment to a position in the classified service from non-civil service status, re-designation of a classification from civil service exempt (i.e., at will) to civil service non-exempt (i.e., for cause), and appointment from a Countywide re-employment list.
A probationary employee who transfers to a new department or classification shall begin a new probation period in the new department or class. However, an employee serving a probation period as a result of an appointment from a Countywide re-employment list who transfers back to the original department from which laid off shall not serve a new probation period in that class in the original department if he/she had successfully completed probation prior to being laid off.
3. Removal of Unsatisfactory Probationers. If the appointing authority finds that the probationary employee is not satisfactory, the appointing authority shall remove the employee by notice in writing, with a copy to the Personnel Director, stating the reasons, and the decisions of the appointing authority in the matter shall be final.
Employees who have been rejected during a promotional probation period or probation period resulting from a reclassification shall be reappointed to a vacant position or a position held by a probationary employee in their former class and former department from which promoted or transferred, provided they had permanent status in the former class. In the event that there is no vacant position or position held by a probationary employee in their former class and department, the removed employee shall be reappointed to any vacant position or position held by a less senior probationary employee in the County. If there is no vacant position or position held by a probationary employee in the County, the removed employee will be placed on a departmental (the employee's former department) and countywide Right To Return to Former Class employment list. If there is an extra help assignment available, the removed employee will be allowed to bump into this assignment (in accordance with existing extra help restriction), while remaining on the employment list. In the event that the removed employee's former class is obsolete and/or no positions are budgeted in the County, the employee will be placed on one alternate eligible list which most closely relates to the former class as determined by the Personnel Director, with the same rights on the eligible list or for bumping into extra help as if it were the employee's former class. The above-described right to return to former class shall not apply to employees who are rejected during any type of probation period other than promotional probation or probation resulting from reclassification. (Amended 11/22/83; 2/7/84, 10/19/94; 5/2/95; 1/10/06)
F. Restoration of Probationary Employees to Eligible List.
1. Removed Probationary Employees. If the Personnel Director finds that the removal of a probationary employee pursuant to Section VI E3, above, would not necessarily disqualify the candidate for other employment, the Personnel Director may restore the removed probationary employee to the list for consideration for vacancies in departments other than the one in which he/she was removed.
2. Laid Off or Displaced Probationary Employees. Probationary employees who are laid off or displaced shall have their names restored to the eligible list from which appointed. (Amended 11/22/83)
G. Provisional Appointments.
1. When there are less than five (5) qualified eligibles on any appropriate employment list, the Personnel Director may authorize the provisional appointment of any individual meeting the established standards for the position pending the establishment of an eligible list, but in any event, no such provisional appointment shall continue for longer than the following:
a. For department heads - 180 days
b. For other positions - 90 days
When an eligible list is established and certified to an appointing authority, the appointing authority shall make an appointment from the list within 15 working days; provided, however, that the Personnel Director may authorize an additional 15 working days to make an appointment when additional time is required. The provisional appointment shall be automatically terminated upon the start date of the appointment of an individual from the eligible list, or, if no appointment has been made, upon expiration of the 15 or 30 working day period following certification of the eligible list. (Amended 1/4/83)
2. Successive provisional appointments shall not be allowed, except that one additional temporary authorization for the same length of time as the original provisional appointment may be authorized by the Personnel Director provided that due diligence was exercised to establish an eligible list, or that other valid reasons exist to justify the extended provisional appointment which do not evade the competitive principles of the merit system.
3. Provisional appointments under this section are subject to removal at the will of the appointing authority. No time served under provisional appointments shall contribute towards acquiring probationary or permanent status. (Res. 222-90, 4/17/90)
H. Emergency Appointments. If any department head finds it necessary to make an appointment without regard to the provisions of these rules in order to prevent the stoppage of public business, loss of life, or damage to persons and property, he may make an emergency appointment without reference to the eligible list, provided that he shall report the appointment to the Personnel Director, the County Administrative Officer and the Auditor-Controller as soon as the emergency condition reasonably permits, and provided that no such original appointment continues for more than thirty working days. An original emergency appointment may be extended for up to thirty (30) days at the request of the department head, with the approval of the Personnel Director and notice to the County Administrative Officer, the Auditor-Controller, and the Board of Supervisors. (Res. 222-90, effective 5/22/90)
I. Extra Help Appointments.
(Amended 11/22/94 Res. 561-94)
1. Extra-help appointments are limited to a maximum of 999 hours in a fiscal year. (Amended 10/1/85, Res. 550a-85)
2. Extra-help appointments shall be made, when possible, from suitable eligible lists. With the exception of persons on eligible lists established exclusively for extra help, the acceptance or refusal to accept extra help employment on the part of persons on the eligible list shall not be a bar to appointment to a regular position from such eligible list. In the absence of suitable eligible lists, extra help appointments may be made of qualified persons.
3. Extra help appointments may be made from persons participating in the Recall Program which includes a "recall list" for former employees receiving unemployment insurance benefits from the County. Participating persons are subject to the time lines specified by the Recall Program. The "recall list" from this program will not be considered a standard employment list for purposes of these rules.
4. To appoint an extra help employee other than from an eligible list, a copy of application for employment shall be submitted to the Personnel Director for prior approval.
5. No time served under an extra help appointment shall contribute towards acquiring probationary, provisional, or permanent status, nor shall extra help employees be entitled to other rights extended to regular County employees appointed to budgeted positions.
J. Substitute Appointments. A substitute appointment may be made to a position in the Classified Service for a vacancy created by an authorized absence, or for a vacancy created by an extended disability leave covered under Labor Code Section 4850. A substitute appointment may be accomplished through a probationary or provisional appointment. Notwithstanding any other provisions of these rules, a person appointed as a substitute retains probationary or provisional status during the entire period of leave of absence not to exceed one (1) year in length. If after one (1) year a substitute appointment is not transitioned to a regular probationary appointment he/she will be terminated. The substitute appointment will end concurrent with the return from leave of the incumbent, unless the department head authorizes an overlap of up to ten (10) working days. The name of any person appointed as a substitute shall remain on any eligible list they are on at the time of the substitute appointment, or any eligible list they may be placed on during the substitute appointment. (Amended 8/12/81; Res. 222-90, 4/17/90)
Probationary service accrued during a substitute appointment may be credited towards permanent status provided that:
1. at the expiration of the substitute appointment the employee is selected from the eligible list for appointment to a permanently vacated position; and
2. the employee was evaluated on a regular basis as prescribed in these rules during the period of substitute appointment and received overall satisfactory or better evaluations; and
3. the department head certifies that the employee was assigned the full range of duties and responsibilities during the period of substitute appointment and performed satisfactorily or better.
K. Temporary Underfill. A "temporary underfill" is defined as the filing of a vacant position at a lower class level than authorized by the Civil Service Commission for a limited time.
The purpose of a temporary underfill is to provide flexibility to appointing authorities:
1. When there has been a reorganization or reassignment of duties pending classification review and action, a position may be temporarily underfilled pending classification for a maximum of six months with the approval of the Personnel Director.
2. To fill a position at a lower level in the same occupational group for training or administrative purposes when such action would not evade or be detrimental to the merit principles. A position may be temporarily underfilled for such purposes for a maximum of one year with the approval of the Personnel Director.
L. Appointment to Previous Class. As an alternate to appointment from an employment list, other than a departmental re-employment or departmental overfill list, upon approval of the appointing authority and Personnel Director, any current permanent or probationary employee included in or excluded from the Classified Service may be appointed to a vacant position in a class in which permanent status was previously acquired. The Personnel Director may require a qualifying examination depending upon the time lapse and change in employment standards or concept of the previous class. The Personnel Director shall administer a qualifying examination when more than two years have elapsed since the employee had status in the previous class.
Employees who return to a previous class at a higher level shall serve a new probationary period.
M. Demotion. As an alternative to appointment from an employment list, other than a departmental re-employment or departmental overfill list, employees in the Classified Service may be assigned from a position in one class to a position in a lower class on either a voluntary or involuntary basis, with the approval of the appointing authority and Personnel Director. In all cases, the employee must meet the current employment standards for the lower class. (Amended 1/4/83) Employees who do not successfully complete the probationary period in the class to which they voluntarily or involuntarily demote have no right to return to their former higher class even if they previously attained permanent status in that higher class.
N. Work in a Higher Class. In the event of a paid absence of more than 80 hours of service for other than vacation, annual leave or administrative leave, an employee may be temporarily assigned to perform the duties of a position in a higher class at the pay range authorized for the higher class, with the approval of the Personnel Director. No such temporary assignment shall continue longer than 90 days except that one additional temporary appointment for a maximum of 90 days may be authorized by the Personnel Director, provided that valid reasons exist to justify the extension.
This provision may be applied when the employee in the higher class is absent because of illness and is using annual leave, vacation, or administrative leave, following exhaustion of all accrued sick leave.
In all cases, the employee must meet the employment standards for the higher class, and must be appointed from an appropriate employment list if one exists.
No time served in a Work in a Higher Class appointment shall contribute towards acquiring probationary or permanent status in the higher class.
A Memorandum of Understanding between the County and a recognized employee organization may provide for work in a higher class appointment for a period of a paid absence or leave without pay of less that 80 hours of service, that such temporary assignments may be limited to a maximum period of less than 90 days (and one additional temporary appointment for a maximum period of less than 90 days), for such appointments of an employee who meets the employment standards for the higher class but who may not be on an appropriate employment list, and/ or for such temporary assignments to cover for periods of paid leave and leaves of absence without pay. (Amended 12/22/87; 4/17/90)
(Section VI Amended 8/19/2014, Res. 195-2014)
Requirements for Accomplishing Transfers. Upon his/her request, an employee may be transferred from his/her position to a vacant position in the same class or, in a class requiring related knowledge, skills, and abilities at the same salary range or within 5% above the salary range at the fifth (5th) step. The transfer is subject to approval of the department with the vacant position and the Personnel Director. The actual date for employee transfer is to be arranged between the department heads. (Res. 222-90, 4/17/90)
When, in the judgment of the Personnel Director, a position can best be filled by promotion from within the County service, he/she may hold promotional examinations.
Competition will be restricted to:
Permanent and probationary employees who possess the necessary qualifications for the class.
Exempt employees in budgeted positions who were appointed as a result of a competitive exam process as determined by the Personnel Director. A competitive exam process includes a posting of the job announcement; a filing period; a measurement of the relative job related knowledge, skills, and abilities of the candidates through one or more tests; and a departmental hiring interview resulting in an appointment of one of the finalists.
Exempt employees in budgeted positions who previously held probationary or permanent status in a classified position.
Employees who were appointed through competitive examination and regular certification procedures, and who completed a probationary period for their class prior to layoff so long as their names remain on a re-employment list.
With the exception of persons on re-employment lists, to be eligible for promotional certification, an eligible must meet the criteria listed in 1, 2, or 3, on the filing date for the examination, on the date the eligible list was established and at the time of appointment to the promotional class. (Revised 1/15/80; 9/23/81; Res. 222-90, 4/17/90)
Responsibility for Training Program. The Personnel Director shall be responsible for developing courses of training to instruct employees in the better performance of their duties, in the policies and objectives of the County government, in good safety practices, and to prepare those in the lower ranks for advancement to the position of higher responsibility.
Rating Period. Employees shall be evaluated on the following basis:
Six Month Probation. Employees serving a six month probationary period shall be evaluated at three and six months during their probationary period.
Nine Month Probation. Employees serving a nine month probationary period shall be evaluated at three, six and nine months during their probationary period. (Added 1/28/14)
One Year Probation. Employees serving a one year probationary period shall be evaluated at three, six, and twelve months during their probationary period.
Permanent Employees. All permanent employees shall be evaluated at least once each year.
Special Evaluations. Permanent employees may be placed on a special two-month evaluation schedule at any time when performance problems exist. Permanent employees receiving an annual performance evaluation with an overall rating of unacceptable, or short of standard will be placed on a special two-month evaluation. The special evaluation will continue at two-month intervals until the employee has attained an overall performance rating of standard or is subject to discipline up to and including dismissal. Once the employee attains an overall performance rating of standard, he/she will be removed from special evaluation treatment. The maximum time period that an employee can remain on continuous special evaluation is six months. Employees who are unsuccessful in attaining an overall performance rating of standard or better during a continuous six-month special rating period will be subject to discipline up to and including dismissal from County employment, subject to the appeal rights regarding disciplinary actions specified elsewhere in these regulations.
The Personnel Department shall be notified in all cases where an employee is to be placed on special evaluation. Such notification shall consist of a copy of a memo to the employee which includes: a statement of the special performance problems leading to the special evaluation; the date that the performance problems were discussed with the employee; the type of performance improvement that is necessary; and the date that the special evaluation period is to begin. Should other performance issues arise during the special evaluation period, such issues should be addressed through other means.
This section does not limit the County's right to discipline, up to and including dismissal, an employee at any time, with or without a special evaluation. Evaluations are not to be used as discipline.
Evaluation Methods and Reports. The evaluation methods shall be so devised as to gain significant facts concerning the details of the quality and quantity of work performed, the conduct and work habits of the employee, and other factors having a bearing on his/her value to the service. Such facts may be reported by supervisory employees or may be determined by investigation by the department head, or both, and the evaluation based on such facts shall be forwarded to the Personnel Director. (Evaluations shall be on forms and under procedures prescribed by the Personnel Director.)
Use of Evaluation Results. The results of performance evaluations shall be taken into account in the following ways:
In authorizing step increases within a salary range as provided by ordinance.
The general record of service, as well as specific and immediate charges, will be taken into account when disciplinary action against an employee is proposed and the penalty, if any, is assessed.
Appeal of Evaluation Ratings.
Upon presentation of the employee performance evaluation, the employee should discuss it with the supervisor, including any rating or comments that he/she believes is improper. If still not satisfied, in addition to signing the evaluation, the employee should place an "X" in the space provided by his/her signature to indicate he/she wishes to discuss the report with the reviewing officer. The employee shall be given a copy of his/her performance evaluation at that time. The supervisor shall then notify the reviewing officer that the employee has requested a meeting.
The reviewing officer shall discuss the evaluation with the employee within ten (10) working days after the employee received his/her copy of the performance evaluation report.
If an employee wishes further consideration beyond the review by the reviewing officer (or if the reviewing officer fails to respond within the period specified above), the employee, within five (5) working days following the meeting with the reviewing officer, shall prepare a written request as follows to his/her appointing authority:
identifies the report by stating the date of the report, the name of the rater, and the date the report was received;
specifies the ratings or comments which he/she believes are incorrect;
tates the rating or comments he/she believes should be made on the report;
gives facts substantiating each change requested; and
keeps a copy of his/her written request and sends the original to the appointing authority.
An appeal to the Personnel Director on a performance evaluation can be made only after the departmental remedies outlined above have been exhausted. Within ten (10) working days after receiving the appointing authority's decision, or within ten (10) working days after expiration of the ten day period for the appointing authority to respond and no response is received, the employee may present his/her appeal in writing to the Personnel Director. However, a report with an overall rating of "meets job standards," "exceeds job standards," or "outstanding" cannot be appealed to the Personnel Director.
The Personnel Director shall hold an informal, closed hearing to consider evaluation appeals. In considering such appeals, the Personnel Director shall be guided by the Civil Service Commission's policy "Scope of Authority - Employee's Performance Evaluations (Amended 1/20/94)." The Personnel Director's decision shall be final and binding.
Should the appointing authority for a performance evaluation appeal be the Personnel Director, the County Administrative Officer shall act as the hearing officer under the same authority and requirements as apply when the Personnel Director is serving as the hearing officer.
Within 30 days from the filing of the appeal, the Personnel Director shall schedule a hearing on the matter. Said hearing shall commence as soon as practical. (Added 4/27/93)
Continuance of Evaluation Appeal Hearing. The parties may stipulate to continuance of a hearing by written agreement, which lists three alternate dates for the continued hearing. Continuances may otherwise only be granted by the Personnel Director upon advance notice with a showing of good cause. In no event will an appeal be continued beyond 90 days from the date of the scheduled hearing. (Added 4/27/93)
(Amended 4/12/84; Reissued 6/84; Amended 4/27/93; Amended 2/1/94; Amended 10/17/06, Res 339-2006; Amended 4/17/07, Res 110-2007; Amended 1/28/14, Res 10-2014)
Military Leave. Any employee required to perform active military service shall be granted the leave of absence provided by law.
Leave of Absence Without Pay. Any employee having permanent status may be granted a leave of absence not to exceed one year, on the recommendation of the department head and approval of the Personnel Director for the purpose of improving his/her training for his/her position, or in the case of extended illness for which sick leave with pay is not available, or in the event of urgent personal affairs requiring the full attention of the employee.
Return from Leave of Absence. The granting of a leave of absence to an employee guarantees the right of his/her return at its expiration, or an earlier date mutually agreed upon by the department and the employee, and any person appointed to fill the vacancy during the leave holds it subject to the prior right of the employee on leave. An employee failing to return upon expiration of the leave shall be regarded as having automatically resigned. (Amended 9/15/81; 1/4/83)
Involuntary Leave of Absence Without Pay for Medical Reasons at Direction of Appointing Authority. (Added 6/4/85; Res. 311-85; Amended 9/17/85; Res. 523-85)
An appointing authority may, with the prior approval of the Personnel Director, place an employee on an involuntary leave of absence without pay for medical reasons. Conditions and requirements for such leaves are described below.
Placement of a Leave Employee. If an employee on leave of absence for illness or injury wants to return to work or intends to return to work and there are sufficient grounds to believe that the employee may not be able to perform the assigned duties, the department head may place the employee on an involuntary leave of absence without pay with proper notice until: (a) the employee provides additional information on his/her medical condition including any work limitations; or the employee completes another medical examination to determine fitness for duty including any work limitations; and (b) the department receives and evaluates the required information and determines that the employee is fit to return to work or what accommodations, if any, can be made to the employee's work limitations. The department may make reasonable accommodations to permit the employee to return to work in a modified capacity or modified conditions for a specified period of time.
Each of the following conditions must be met in placing an employee on such an involuntary leave of absence without pay.
The Personnel Director reviews the circumstances, information available and the recommendation of competent medical professionals, and determines that there are sufficient grounds to approve such leave.
The department provides the employee with a written notice of the leave which identifies beginning and ending dates, the reason for the leave, any conditions for the leave, and the appeal process.
The department must proceed with due haste in a timely manner to schedule any medical examination it desires for the employee, and in reaching a decision after the result of the examination and/or additional information from the employee's physician is received.
The Personnel Director shall set review dates on each such leave, with the first review no later than 30 calendar days from the beginning of the leave.
At the discretion of the department, any approved leave may be terminated and the employee returned to work before the ending date established for the leave.
Placement of a Current Employee. With proper notice, an appointing authority may place an employee on an involuntary leave of absence without pay when he/she believes, based on statements of the employee or other information, that the employee has medical or health problems which endanger the safety of the employee or others, or which prevent or limit the performance of the employee assigned duties. Such leave, which may be based on performance, is not punitive but is for diagnosis and treatment purposes and, when relevant, to maintain the safety of the employee and/or others.
Each of the following conditions must be met in placing an employee on such an involuntary leave of absence without pay:
The Personnel Director reviews the circumstances, information available and the recommendation of competent medical professionals, and determines that there are sufficient grounds to approve such leave.
The department provides the employee with a written notice of the leave which identifies beginning and ending dates, the reason for the leave, any conditions for the leave, conditions for return from leave, and the appeal process.
The Personnel Director shall set review dates on each such leave, with the first review no later than 30 calendar days from the beginning of the leave.
At the direction of the department, any approved leave may be terminated and the employee returned to work or paid status before the ending date established for the leave.
No leave of absence, whether voluntary or involuntary or a combination of the two, shall exceed one year.
Any appeals of leaves of absence in accordance with (1) and (2), above, shall be limited to the issue as to whether or not there are sufficient grounds for an involuntary leave.
"Proper Notice" Defined. "Proper notice" means a written statement from the department and sent to the employee prior to action taken. The notice shall include a copy of the provisions of this section.
This section of the Civil Service Rules has been replaced by layoff provisions as outlined in the Memorandum of Understanding with each employee bargaining unit.
It is intended that the layoff provisions outlined in Memoranda of Understanding for employee bargaining units also apply to unrepresented employees in the classified service. For such employees, an appointing authority may make an exception to retain an employee who possesses essential skills; provided, however, that such exception is subject to the review and approval of the Personnel Director. Appeals of the Personnel Director's decision may be made within 5 calendar days of the receipt of the notice, to the County Administrative Officer, whose decision shall be final.
Notification by Employee. Any employee desiring to leave the County service shall do so by filing his/her resignation in writing with the department head prior to the effective date of his/her resignation. The resignation shall be deemed to be accepted upon submittal by the employee. (Amended 2/5/85; Res. 17C-85)
Requirements for Reinstatement. Any employee who has had permanent civil service status may be reinstated to his/her former class, a related class within the same occupational group requiring comparable qualifications at the same salary range, a lower level class within the same class series, or any other class at an equivalent or lower salary range in which the employee had previously attained permanent status if he/she resigned in good standing and if, within two years from the date of resignation, there is a vacancy, and his/her reinstatement is recommended by the department head with the vacancy and approved by the Personnel Director. Employees granted reinstatement will serve a probationary period of six months from the date of the reinstatement regardless of the length of probation served during the prior service.
Authority. Employees may be dismissed, suspended by the appointing authority for a maximum of 30 calendar days, or demoted as provided in the Civil Service Ordinance, except that an employee who has been removed from his/her position under the federal law implemented by the Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations shall not return to work until he/she has had a reasonable time to satisfy all DOT requirements even if the requirements take more than 30 calendar days to complete.
Causes for Disciplinary Actions. The following may be considered as causes for dismissal, suspension, reduction in compensation or demotion, although dismissals, suspension, reductions in compensation or demotions may be made for other causes:
Fraud in securing appointment.
Inexcusable neglect of duty.
Physical or mental limitations rendering the employee incapable of performing the essential functions of the position after considering reasonable accommodation.
Unauthorized or wasteful use of public funds, supplies, and equipment.
Drunkenness on duty.
Addiction to use of narcotics or habit-forming drugs.
Inexcusable absence without leave.
Conviction of any felony or of a misdemeanor involving moral turpitude.
Discourteous treatment of the public or other employees.
Violation of the Civil Service Ordinance or rules of the Commission.
Negligent or willful damage to public property.
Procedure Relating to Criminal Action.
Criminal Action Alleged or Charged. Where the facts alleged in the letter of discharge or reduction constitute a crime, or where the employee has been charged with a crime arising out of the same transaction, and the employee has requested a hearing, he/ she may, at any time at least one day before the date of the hearing, request a continuance of his/her civil service hearing for a reasonable period to determine whether a criminal charge will be filed or until after termination of the criminal case. Such a request must be accompanied by waiver of salary for the period of that continuance in case the employee is reinstated.
Employee Convicted of a Felony. The Personnel Director shall be informed as soon as possible of the conviction of a felony of any employee regardless of the nature of the offense. The appointing authority shall consult with the Personnel Director and County Counsel prior to determining whether to continue the employment of the employee in view of the felony conviction. Any disciplinary action of an employee based on a felony conviction shall be subject to all the other provisions of this Section, including those pertaining to notices, appeals and hearings of disciplinary actions. (Conviction of a felony is a disqualification from employment for employees who are peace officers, pursuant to Government Code Section 1029.) (Amended 9/16/86; 4/7/87; Res. 177-87)
Notice of Disciplinary Action.
Notice of disciplinary action shall be served by personal delivery to the employee at the work site. The date of such delivery shall initiate the period in which an appeal may be filed.
If personal delivery to the employee at the work site cannot be accomplished, notice of disciplinary action shall be served by mailing a copy of the notice by certified mail to the employee, with addressee's signature required. The date of receipt shall initiate the period in which an appeal may be filed.
If receipt of addressee is not received, in 1 above, notice of disciplinary action shall be served by leaving a copy of the notice at the employee's residence in the presence of a competent member of the household and by thereafter mailing a copy of the notice (via first class mail, postage prepaid) to the employee at his/her residential address. Service of the notice in this manner shall be deemed complete on the 10th day after such mailing for purposes of computing the time limit for filing an appeal.
If service of the notice is attempted, under 2 above, on two separate days, but neither the employee nor any competent member of the household is found present, notice of disciplinary action may be made by thereafter mailing a copy of the notice (by first class mail, postage prepaid) to the employee at his/her residential address. Service of the notice in this manner shall be deemed complete on the 10th day after such mailing for purposes of computing the time limit for filing an appeal.
Actions taken to effect service of a notice of disciplinary action should be documented and a proof of service should be complete. (Added 4/12/84) (Amended 1/86)
REFERENCE: CIVIL SERVICE RULES - LENGTH OF PROBATION PERIOD
ONE YEAR PROBATIONARY PERIOD CLASSES
All Department Heads and Executive Management classes included in Civil Service have a one year probation period.†
Agricultural Weights & Measures Inspector I (5/86)
Agricultural Weights & Measures Inspector II (5/86)
Agricultural Weights & Measures Inspector III (5/86)
Appraiser I (5/24/00)
Assistant Chief of Fiscal Services-HSA
Assistant Vector Control Manager (7/96)
Attorney I-DA (5/13/89)
Auditor IV (5/24/00)
Auditor/Appraiser I (5/24/00)
Central Collections Supervisor (5/8/90)
Chief of Fiscal Services
Child Support Attorney I (6/19/01)
Criminalist I (7/17/14)
Criminalist II (7/17/14)
Communications Technician I (1/10/06)
Communications Technician II (9/85)
DA Inspector I (1/18/84)
DA Inspector II (1/18/84)
DA Inspector III (6/19/01)
Department Fiscal Officer (6/84)
Deputy Agricultural Commissioner/Sealer (11/01)
Deputy Probation Officer I
Deputy Probation Officer II
Deputy Sheriff Trainee (1/10/89)
Group Supervisor I
Group Supervisor II
Latent Print Examiner ( 11/06/07 )
Latent Print Examiner Trainee ( 11/06/07 )
Principal Accountant-Auditor (11/19/09)
Property Tax System Coordinator (5/19/2015)
Public Works Maintenance Worker I
Sanitation Maintenance Worker I
Sheriff Corrections Officer (1/10/89; 1/10/06)
Senior Accountant-Auditor (11/19/09
Senior Software Systems Analyst
Tax Collection Supervisor
Treasury/Tax Collection Manager (1/05/15)
Vector Control Specialist(7/96)
Welfare Fraud Investigator I/II (4/16/09)
NINE MONTH PROBATIONARY PERIOD CLASSES
Benefits Representative Trainee (1/18/14)
Orig: 3/1/77; Updates: 6/7/77; 7/26/77; 9/6/77; 11/3/77; 3/2/79; 6/12/79; 2/12/80; 3/11/80; 10/22/80; 5/22/81; 12/21/81; 1/18/64; 6/12/84; 2/21/85; 9/19/85; 1/10/89; 5/8/90; 6/11/91; 5/2/95; 9/12/95; 4/1/97; Resolution No. 154-2000 5/24/00; Resolution No. 276A-2001 6/19/01; 6/4/02; 1/10/06; Resolution No. 110-2007, 4/17/07, Resolution No. 307-2007, 11/6/07, 4/16/09, 11/19/09, Resolution No. 10-2014, 1/28/14; Resolution No. 195-2014, 8/19/14; Resolution No. 151-2015, 5/19/15; Resolution No. 221-2015, 9/01/15
The Civil Service Rules (V.J.) provide that "eligible lists shall remain in effect for a maximum period of two years subject to the needs of the various departments as determined by the Personnel Director." It has been the Personnel Department's practice when a department requests abolishment of an existing list (or to conduct a new recruitment) to automatically review the list for: date established, number of names on list, and inclusion of qualified individuals. If there are an adequate number of apparently qualified individuals on the list, we strongly urge the department to call for the list. However, the Personnel Department has not forced use of the list.
If there are an adequate number of names on the eligible list and the department requests abolishment, the department will be required to document in writing to the Personnel Department why the individuals should not be considered. If the department requests another recruitment (and thus commingling of the new list with the existing list), the department will be required to offer to interview all persons on the existing list, and may require written documentation as to why the individuals should not be considered. The Personnel Department may then determine that:
abolishment is not approved and certification of the list stands;
abolishment is not approved but a new recruitment is approved in which the new list is commingled with the existing list; or
abolishment is approved and new recruitment is approved.
(If #1, above, is applied where protected class individuals are under-represented in the workforce and the department is not in agreement with the determination of the Personnel Department, the matter will be referred to the Equal Employment Opportunity Officer for resolution in accordance with the County's Equal Employment Opportunity/Nondiscrimination Policy.)
Approved by the Civil Service Commission 1/12/83, Revised 10/17/01, 1/15/09.
It is the policy of the Civil Service Commission of Santa Cruz County that, should a person be disqualified at any stage in the examination, selection or appointment process on the basis of the findings by an expert (e.g., physician or surgeon, or clinical psychologist), the person who is disqualified shall be responsible for providing evidence to the contrary from another expert before their appeal is heard by the Commission.
The Commission may then choose to hear the appeal, or the Commission may choose to submit the findings of the experts to a third expert source for a recommendation. (Approved by the Civil Service Commission 12/13/84)
The scope of the Personnel Director's authority in considering appeals of employee's performance evaluations pursuant to Civil Service Rule X E 5, shall be as set forth below.
The focus of the Director's review is limited to the current evaluation only. This is what is being appealed to the Director. Although the parties may introduce prior evaluations of the individual as well as letters of accommodation or the like, the scope of the appeal is limited to the current evaluation before the Director. The Director cannot take action on established documents, such as earlier evaluations.
The Director clearly has the authority to uphold the department's evaluation of the employee's performance. The Personnel Director also has the authority to, if s/he wishes, refer the evaluation back to the appointing authority for further review.
However, beyond these two actions there are practical limitations on the authority of the Personnel Director. On one hand, the hearing of the Director is, of necessity, limited duration. On the other hand, the evaluation covers a period of from several months to a year, and is intended to reflect the employee's performance in a day-to-day operation with which the Director is unfamiliar, and may cover technical areas where the Director also has little or no expertise. It appears that the practical effects of these limitations are:
that the Director should not superimpose or substitute his/her thoughts based on the hearing in the evaluation of the employee's performance. It does seem reasonable that, where phrases are inappropriate, misleading, or nonessential, the Director has the authority to strike those phrases;
that the Director can assign an overall rating of "satisfactory," but not any higher possible overall rating. (A satisfactory overall rating would make the individual eligible for any step increase that would result from the evaluation.)
Approved by the Civil Service Commission 7/24/91
Amended by the Civil Service Commission 1/20/94
In order to clearly communicate to management, supervisors and employees the elements of disciplinary action, the following definitions will be applied by the Civil Service Commission in hearing appeals of disciplinary actions:
STAGE I - ORAL COUNSELING/ORAL REPRIMAND
Counseling in a broad sense includes any informal discussion with an employee designed to assist him/her to fully develop his/her skills and abilities. Usually, the immediate supervisor counsels the employee. The discussion may clarify information or solve problems. When there is a performance or behavior problem, counseling is usually the action taken to assist the employee in clarifying and remedying the problem.
How the counseling interview is conducted is important. Ideally, counseling will resolve the problem early and avoid the need to take punitive action. It is important that this area not be overlooked when training supervisors and managers. Counseling training should include the do's and don'ts of the interview as well as the need for proper documentation.
The oral reprimand notifies the employee that his/her performance or behavior must be improved. Oral warnings are given by supervisors when counseling has failed to produce the desired result or the behavior is clearly unacceptable.
The reprimand defines the areas in which improvement is required, and, for performance problems, sets up goals leading to this improvement, and informs the employee that failure to improve will result in more serious action.
Although the supervisor makes a note of the date, time, and content of the reprimand, no record is placed in the permanent personnel file unless subsequent action is necessary.
Stage I actions are excluded from appeal under these provisions.
STAGE II - WRITTEN REPRIMAND
A written reprimand is a formal notice to an employee that disciplinary action will be taken unless his/her behavior or performance improves.
The written reprimand advises the employee in writing of the consequences of failing to improve his/her performance or behavior, and should contain the following:
What occurred? As basic as this sounds, many letters of reprimand fail to identify what has happened.
The date and time of the event which is the cause of the reprimand or the period of time when the performance problem exists.
What rule, policy, or contract provision has been broken or violated by the employee? Be specific and spell out the entire rule or reference the specific portions of the rules, policies or contracts which are readily available to the employee.
What the employee is directed to do to correct the situation. Avoid general statement; be specific; include time lines when appropriate.
The written reprimand is prepared in triplicate. Copies are kept by the supervisor, given to the employee, and filed in the employee's personnel folder.
The employee should be advised of his/her appeal rights as provided immediately below.
Procedure for appeal of Stage II action:
An appeal of an action under Stage II must first be made to the employee's supervisor within 5 working days of notice of the action. The appeal must focus on the facts of the action.
An appeal of an action under Stage II may be made to the appointing authority within 5 working days of receipt of the supervisor's response to the employee's appeal. The appeal must focus on the facts of the action.
An appeal of a Stage II action may be made to the Personnel Director within 5 working days of notice of the action. Such appeal is limited to process. The determination of the Personnel Director with respect to process shall be final.
STAGE III - SUSPENSION/DEMOTION
Suspension is the temporary removal of an employee from his/her duties without pay. The maximum period an appointing authority can impose is 30 calendar days, except that an employee who has been removed from his/her position under the federal law implemented by the Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations shall not return to work until he/she has had a reasonable time to satisfy all DOT requirements even if the requirements take more than 30 calendar days to complete. Suspensions are normally taken in cases involving serious misconduct or chronic behavioral or performance problems which have not been corrected.
An employee may in some instances be suspended on the spot. Such action is reserved for cases where, for example, the employee's continued presence constitutes a clear threat to the safety of other employees or to the public. Under current case law, such suspensions are limited to five working days.
Suspension action is instituted after consultation with the department management and the Personnel/Employee Relations Division and County Counsel.
Demotion is the removal of an employee from his/her present class to a lower class. Suspensions are usually preferred over demotions. Demotions may be appropriate when the employee's performance was acceptable in a lower class, but the employee has shown that s/he cannot function at a higher (e.g. supervisory) level.
Failure to meet the requirements of promotional probation is not considered disciplinary action.
The standards for documentation under Stage III are:
There has been demonstrated "cause" for the action.
The action is incident specific, or reflective of a range or pattern of specific incidents.
Time limits for response and/r appeal are clearly communicated to the employee.
There is equal application to all staff under the same circumstances and to which the same expectations apply.
Appeals of Stage III actions to the appointing authority are governed by case law, as stated in the Notice of Intent, and for certain employees, State law (Public Safety Officers Procedural Bill of Rights).
Appeal of a Stage III action may be made to the Civil Service Commission within the time limits and provisions of the County Code and Civil Service Rules governing disciplinary actions. (See attached County Code Section 3.24.030.) The determination of the Civil Service Commission on this matter is final.
STAGE IV - DISMISSAL
Dismissal is the permanent removal of an employee from service. This action should only be taken when management is satisfied that the employee has been given sufficient opportunity to meet performance or behavior standards and has clearly failed to do so, or for gross misconduct which cannot be tolerated. Dismissal is seldom used for a first offense unless the violation is so serious that no other response is appropriate.
The standards for documentation under Stage IV are:
a) There has been demonstrated "cause" for the action.
b) The action is incident specific, or reflective of a range or pattern of specific incidents.
c) Time limits for response and/or appeal are clearly communicated to the employee.
d) There is equal application to all staff under the same circumstances and to which the same expectations apply.
Appeals of Stage IV actions to the appointing authority are governed by case law, as stated in the Notice of Intent, and, for certain employees, State law (Public Safety Officers Procedural Bill of Rights).
Appeal of a Stage IV action may be made to the Civil Service Commission within the time limits and provisions of the County Code and Civil Service Rules governing disciplinary actions. (See attached County Code Section 3.24.030.) The determination of the Civil Service Commission on this matter is final.
Under existing rules of the Civil Service Commission, probationary employees may not appeal actions defined as discipline (i.e., suspension, demotion, dismissal).
An employee cannot appeal his/her release from a probationary promotional appointment; however, if s/he was permanent in the class from which promoted, s/he can appeal a dismissal from that class.
Approved by the Civil Service Commission 10/15/92; rev 12/9/92
The Personnel Department, working with the employing department, will make every effort to assure equal employment opportunity to employ the most qualified workforce. It is the goal of the Personnel Department to maintain a diverse workforce by continually evaluating, monitoring, tracking all levels of employment in all categories and occupation groups; and maintaining a county wide EEO plan as required by federal laws.
Departments that are under-represented by total department and/or by occupational categories as indicated in the County Equal Employment Opportunity Plan will be required to conduct interviews for open or promotional eligible lists under Civil Service Rule VI.B.4.e.2 for vacancies in occupational groups where they are under-represented. The Personnel Department will notify all eligibles so certified of their right to an interview and the department must interview all certified eligibles responding within five days of the notice.
In the event there are no under-represented group members on the eligible list, the Personnel Department will make a determination on whether to re-recruit after consultation with the Equal Employment Opportunity Program Manager.
In the event that approval to interview from a list with no under-represented members is authorized, the department may conduct interviews under Civil Service Rule VI.B.4.e.1 or VI.B.4.e.2 as desired.
Approved by Civil Service Commission 1/23/93 revised 3/11/93; Board of Supervisors 3/23/93