Nearly a dozen state departments have allowed hundreds of employees to hold more than one job, confirming CalPERS officials' claims that the practice is widespread, according to January state jobs data The Bee obtained.
As new details emerged, the Brown administration took steps to curtail the controversial and little-known practice that allows full-time state employees, including salaried managers, to moonlight for their departments.
All told, 571 nonunion employees held more than one position this month. Many are salaried managers and supervisors who are ineligible for overtime. Others, such as those working in the state's prison system, are nonunion employees whose primary job pays an hourly wage and overtime under certain conditions.
The practice has drawn criticism from some labor experts who say it may run afoul of federal labor law and, at the very least, invites an end-run around the notion of paying fixed wages for salaried jobs.
In a statement late Tuesday, the California Department of Human Resources said it was reviewing the practice: "The Department of Human Resources (CalHR) is conducting a full review to determine whether there is any justification for continuing this practice in rare cases where it might save money or be necessary under law. Effective immediately, no department can make additional appointments without the direct approval of CalHR."
All of the departments contacted for this story declined to comment and referred The Bee to CalHR.
Two weeks ago, after CalPERS faced criticism for paying hourly wages to salaried employees who did extra work with computer systems and customer service, its officials said the practice wasn't unique to the retirement system fund.
Officials there suspended the additional appointments program and said they would consult with the Human Resources Department and the State Personnel Board, which oversees California's civil service merit system rules.
"We have been talking to CalHR and a meeting is on the books," CalPERS spokesman Brad Pacheco said Tuesday.
The State Controller's Office numbers analyzed by The Bee provide a Jan. 11 snapshot of non-rank-and-file state employees with two jobs in the same department. The data don't show the actual amounts paid for this month, so some employees may have held more than one title but only worked their main job in January.
About 75 lieutenants in corrections hold lower-level positions as sergeants or line-walking correctional officers. Another 55 sergeants have second appointments as correctional officers or as self-help program sponsors.
All of those jobs pay an hourly wage. Most of the salaried employees with second jobs in the department are prison medical staff, some whose primary jobs as doctors and psychiatrists pay $10,000 to $20,000 per month.
Roughly 175 state hospital employees had additional appointments. About 70 are unit supervisors who mostly also hold jobs as psychiatric technicians, but the practice extends to a chief psychiatrist at Napa State Hospital whose base pay is $23,000 per month. Her second staff psychiatrist position grosses $125 per hour.
As with all additionally appointed state jobs, the second job's wages are not included in pension calculations.
The Department of Social Services, which operates on federal money, has 101 dual appointees. All of them are administrators who oversee teams that evaluate disability benefit applications. Their monthly base pay ranges between $5,098 and $7,474.
All of them also hold positions as disability application evaluators, earning $25.42 per hour to $30.85 per hour.
The large majority of the 56 CalPERS employees in the controller's count were staff services managers who mostly also logged hours as technicians, according to the controller's records.
Two weeks ago, the public pension fund administrator acknowledged that it has allowed managers and other salaried employees to take hourly rank-and-file jobs since June 2011. It tapped employees with technical skills to help meet deadlines to launch a new $514 million computer project and then to handle backlogged work created by glitches in the new system.
CalPERS said the dual-appointment program was its cheapest option and saved an estimated $1.6 million.
Still, the state's policy remains unclear, and state lawmakers said they wanted to look further into the practice. Democratic Assemblyman Rob Bonta, chair of the Assembly Public Employees Retirement and Social Security Committee, has said the group will discuss the issue during its meeting this morning.