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Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

Column Extra: Rule governs California state transfers

Published: Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014 - 3:51 pm

Our State Worker column this week highlights how the government is going to more carefully scrutinize employee transfers in light of a recent Personnel Board ruling that says, in sum, that minimum qualifications for jobs exist for a reason.

We know that State Worker blog users tend to get into the fine details of civil service rules, so here’s the one that the board cited in a November ruling that voided a Public Utilities Commission transfer and has since become the basis of a statewide push to adhere to minimum qualifications:

Rule 250. Requirement That Selection Be Based on Merit and Fitness.

(a) Appointments to positions in the State civil service made from eligible lists in a manner consistent with provisions of Sections 254, 254.1, and 254.2 as related to the certification of eligibles, by way of transfer, as defined in Government Code Section 18525.3, or by way of reinstatement, as defined in Government Code Section 19140, shall be made on the basis of merit and fitness, defined exclusively as the consideration of each individual's job-related qualifications for a position, including his/her knowledge, skills, abilities, experience, education, training, physical and mental fitness, and any other personal characteristics relative to job requirements, as determined by candidate performance in selection procedures, including, but not limited to, hiring interviews, reference checks, background checks, and/or any other procedures, which assess job-related qualifications and are designed and administered to select those individuals who best meet the selection need.

(b) Eligible lists shall be created on the basis of merit and fitness, and, as such, shall result from: recruitment strategies designed to be as broad and inclusive as necessary to best meet the selection need; and candidate performance in selection procedures that assess job-related qualifications, are competitive in nature, are designed and administered to fairly and objectively identify those candidates who meet the selection need, and result in the ranking of candidates based on their job-related qualifications.

(c) Permanent status in permanent appointments to the civil service is achieved after completion of the required probationary period, the final phase of the selection process. Assessment of employee performance during the probationary period shall be made on the basis of merit and fitness, with regard to the individual's qualifications, including his/her knowledge, skills, abilities, experience, education, training, physical and mental fitness, and any other personal characteristics relative to job requirements, and his/her job-related performance.

(d) All phases of the selection process, including recruitment and examining, eligible list creation, appointment, and completion of the civil service probationary period, shall provide for the fair and equitable treatment of applicants and employees on an equal opportunity basis without regard to political affiliation, race, color, ancestry, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, religion, disability, medical condition, age, or marital status.

(e) Nothing herein shall be construed to relieve appointing powers from the obligation to reasonably accommodate individuals with disabilities as required under the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Fair Employment and Housing Act, and the Civil Service Act.

(f) Nothing herein shall be construed so as to contravene the intent and purpose of Article VII, Section 6, of the California Constitution, which provides for the granting of preferences in state civil service to veterans and their surviving spouses.

(g) Intra-departmental job assignment transfers within the same job classification, such as assignments to different work shifts or work locations, or time base changes pursuant to Section 277 do not constitute appointments for purposes of this regulation.

Note: Authority cited: Sections 18211 and 18701, Government Code. Reference: Article VII, Sections 1 and 6, California Constitution; Sections 18213, 18500, 18525.3, 18900, 18930, 18950, 18951, 18971-18979, 19050, 19052, 19140, 19171, 19173 and 19702.2, Government Code.

Print space limits our Thursday State Worker column to about 450 words each week. Column Extras give you more details and documents that underpin what we write.

Read more articles by Jon Ortiz



About The State Worker

Jon Ortiz The Author

Jon Ortiz launched The State Worker blog and a companion column in 2008 to cover state government from the perspective of California government employees. Every day he filters the news through a single question: "What does this mean for state workers?" Join Ortiz for updates and debate on state pay, benefits, pensions, contracts and jobs. Contact him at (916) 321-1043 and at jortiz@sacbee.com.

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