SECTION 1. GENERAL: Vacancies may be filled by permanent, probationary, provisional, or temporary appointments, as well as by transfer, promotion, or demotion.
SECTION 2. APPOINTMENT AND NOTIFICATION OF APPLICANTS: The appointing authority will interview all candidates certified to the requesting department before making an appointment. All candidates on an eligible list in the top seven (7) ranks or established bands are eligible for selection. After making the selection the appointing authority will notify all candidates interviewed of the results.
SECTION 3. PERMANENT APPOINTMENT: Employees who have successfully completed the probationary periods designated for their classifications shall be given permanent status. Former permanent employees appointed from a reemployment eligible list shall be given permanent appointment when reemployed.
SECTION 4. PROBATIONARY APPOINTMENT: All appointments to fill permanent vacancies shall be probationary appointments, except for demotions or transfers of permanent employees, or appointments from reemployment eligible lists unless otherwise provided in this rule.
Former probationary employees serving probation periods consisting of 2080 hours or less and whose names were placed on a reemployment eligible list before they achieved permanent status shall start a new probationary period when appointed from a reemployment eligible list.
Former probationary employees serving probation periods of more than 2080 hours and whose names were placed on a reemployment eligible list before they achieved permanent status shall resume their probationary period when appointed from a reemployment eligible list.
SECTION 5. PROBATIONARY PERIODS:
A. The probationary period is the final phase of the examination process. It shall be used by the appointing authority for the effective adjustment of new employees through supervision, counseling, and evaluation, as well as for the elimination of any probationary employees who do not meet the required standards of work. The appointing authority may terminate a probationary employee at any time during the probationary period without the right of hearing by or appeal to the Commission except when an employee alleges, and substantiates in writing, discrimination based on one or more of the characteristics identified in Section II of the San Mateo County Equal Employment Opportunity Policy as the reason for rejection. In case of rejection during probationary periods, employees shall be given written notice, with reasons therefore, at once. A copy of such notice will be sent to the Director at the same time. An appeal to the Commission based on the above-described allegation and written substantiation of discrimination must be received by mail, fax, email or hand delivery by the Director within 14 calendar days of the date on which the notice of rejection is mailed or hand delivered to the employee.
B. Probationary full time employees shall undergo a probationary period of 1040 hours, unless a longer period, generally not to exceed 2080 hours, is prescribed by the Commission for their classifications. Probationary part time employees shall undergo a probationary period of 1040 hours, unless a longer period is prescribed by the Commission for their classifications. Management employees shall undergo a probationary period of 2080 hours. Notwithstanding the foregoing limitations, law enforcement and other classifications as deemed by the Commission may be required to undergo a probationary period of 3120 hours. Probationary periods of individuals may be extended with good cause upon request of the department head and concurrence of the Director. Probationary employees who transfer to another department in a position in the same classification may be required to start a new probationary period, as determined by the Director. Probation periods shall be automatically extended by any leave of absence by the length of such leave provided such leave exceeds 10 working days and provided such extension is in full pay period increments.
C. Time worked by an employee in a temporary, extra help, or provisional status shall not count towards completion of the probationary period. The probationary period shall start from the date of probationary appointment. Probationary employees in permanent part time positions shall be credited with that proportion of full time employment that they work in a probationary status.
D. An employee who is not rejected prior to the completion of the prescribed probationary period shall acquire permanent status automatically.
E. An employee who is laid off and subsequently appointed as a result of certification from a general employment eligible list to a position in a different classification than that from which laid off shall undergo the probationary period prescribed for the classification to which appointed.
SECTION 6. TEMPORARY APPOINTMENT: With approval of the Director, a person may be appointed temporarily to fill a regularly established, permanent position during the temporary absence of the incumbent. If a person appointed is a permanent County employee he/she shall retain the right to return to his/her permanent position when the employee who has been temporarily absent returns. Probationary employees may not receive temporary appointments. Permanent County employees who accept a temporary appointment shall not suffer any loss of employee benefits. No person shall achieve permanent status as a result of certification or appointment to a temporary position.
SECTION 7. PROVISIONAL APPOINTMENTS: When no eligible list exists for a classification the Director may either certify from an alternate eligible list or authorize a department head to make a provisional appointment to fill a vacant permanent position. The person appointed must meet the minimum qualifications for the classification and be otherwise eligible. After an eligible list is established for that classification the Director will certify names to fill the position with a probationary employee. If the provisional employee does not receive a probationary appointment he/she must vacate the position within thirty days following certification. In no case may a provisional employee occupy a permanent position for more than six months.
SECTION 8. EXTRA HELP APPOINTMENT:
A. Positions needed because of temporary requirements or other unusual work conditions may be filled by extra help appointments.
B. Extra help employees have no tenure and may be terminated at any time without right of appeal or review by the Commission.
C. Extra help employees are not entitled to employee benefits other than pay for time worked.
D. No person shall achieve permanent status as a result of certification or appointment to an extra help position.
SECTION 9. EMERGENCY APPOINTMENT: In the event that a certification procedure prescribed in the Civil Service Commission Rules would, in an emergency situation, delay or impair efficiency of County government operations, or might cause stoppage of public business, or in order to meet any emergency, the appointing authority may make emergency appointments for the duration of the emergency and for a time thereafter sufficient to permit an orderly return to the normal conduct of public business. When such emergency appointments are made the appointing authority shall immediately notify the Director, naming the appointees, dates of appointment, classifications in which hired, duties of the positions to which appointed, and the nature of the emergency.
SECTION 10. PROMOTIONS:
A. Except as provided in paragraph B of this section, permanent employees who are promoted to a higher classification shall undergo the probationary period prescribed for the higher classification, but if rejected during the probation period shall have the right to demote to their former classification in their former department if a vacancy in their former classification exists. If no vacancy exists, such employee shall be placed in the longest standing vacancy in their former classification, as determined by the requisition form date, County-wide, for which he or she meets the minimum qualifications. If no vacancy exists, such employee shall displace the least senior employee as determined by the seniority provisions of Rule XVI, Section 4.B. If no less senior position exists, then the employee shall be removed from County service.
B. Where flexible staffing exists in a general series of classifications, employees in lower level classifications may be promoted to the higher level classifications without examination or certification from an eligible list, provided that the department head furnishes detailed evidence of work performance to the Director, that the Director approves such action, and that the employee satisfies all other requirements of the position. Where flexible staffing exists between trainee and journey level classifications the employees shall not have the right to revert to their former trainee classifications if rejected during the probationary period.
Note: Employees represented by AFSCME and SEIU in flexibly staffed classifications shall not serve a second probationary period when promoted from the trainee to the journey level if they have completed the probationary period at the trainee level. If such employees promote from the trainee level to the journey level without having completed the probationary period for the trainee level, they shall serve the remainder of the probationary period after promotion to the journey level and shall not have the right to revert to their former trainee classification if rejected during the probationary period.
- This section does not apply in cases where there is limited flexible staffing as delineated in the County Salary Ordinance.
SECTION 11. DEMOTIONS:
- Demotions may be ordered as part of a reorganization or reduction in force, at the request of the employee, or for cause. Demotions other than for cause may be made only upon the recommendation of the department head and approval by the Director. The procedures for appeals and hearings are provided in Rule XIV.
- An employee may, with the approval of the Director and the department head, demote to a vacant position in another classification for which he/she possesses the skills and fitness. Employees who demote to a classification in another series may be required by the department head to start a new probationary period. If unsuccessful in the new probationary period the employee will be terminated from County service. If a new probationary period is a condition for demotion, the employee must sign a statement indicating an understanding of this fact prior to the effective date of the demotion. At the approval of the Director, a demoted employee may have his/her name placed on the reinstatement eligible list for the classification from which demoted.
- A permanent employee who is involuntarily demoted shall be given a permanent appointment in the lower classification.
- Employees in unclassified positions, who previously held positions in the classified service and who did not have a break in County service between the classified and unclassified appointments are also eligible for demotions.
- Court employees who were appointed to their positions in the Court as a result of a competitive examination process shall be eligible to demote consistent with paragraph B above. Eligibility under this section shall expire on November 9, 2002.
SECTION 12. TRANSFERS:
A. An employee may, with the approval of the Director and the gaining department head, transfer to a vacant position: 1) in the same classification in the same department, or 2) in the same classification in a different department. Probationary and permanent employees who transfer to a classification in another series or in another department may be required by the department head to start a new probationary period. If unsuccessful in the new probationary period, the employee will revert to the prior classification as determined in Section 10. A., above. If a new probationary period is a condition for transfer, the employee must sign a statement indicating an understanding of this fact prior to the effective date of the transfer.
B. The Director may approve without examination or certification involuntary interdepartmental or intra-departmental transfer of employees in the same classifications because of reorganizations or changes in workload. Employees affected shall be given reasonable written advance notice.
C. Court employees who were appointed to their positions in the Court as a result of a competitive examination process shall be eligible to transfer consistent with paragraph A, above. Note: Eligibility under this section expired on November 9, 2002.
SECTION 13. APPOINTMENT TO POSITIONS IN AGENCIES TAKEN OVER BY THE COUNTY: The County may appoint, without examination, employees of an agency whose functions have been assumed by the County to classified positions in the County service under the following conditions:
A. The Director has determined the proper classifications for the positions.
B. Employees of the agency with more than six months service shall receive permanent appointments unless the Commission prescribes a longer probationary period for the classification.
C. Employees of the agency for less than six months shall be given probationary appointments.
D. No time served in the agency shall apply toward the computation of seniority for the purposes of layoff from the County service.
SECTION 14. APPOINTMENT TO THE CLASSIFIED SERVICE OF UNCLASSIFIED EMPLOYEES: The County may appoint, without examination, unclassified employees to classified positions in County service under the following conditions:
A. 1. The unclassified position had been grant funded and the County has elected to continue the program, and the employee has held the position for at least one year in a satisfactory capacity or
2. The unclassified position had been established for a short-time project, the County has elected to continue the activity, and the employee has held the position for at least one year in a satisfactory capacity and was hired from an eligible list.
B. The Director has determined the proper classifications for the positions.
C. Time worked in the unclassified service under Charter Section 502.b.5 shall apply toward the computation of seniority for the purposes of layoff from the County service provided that:
1. the maximum time that can be applied cannot exceed three years; and
2. the employee was hired into the position from an eligible list for the position.
Employees hired into classified positions from the unclassified service prior to January 1, 1988, shall have all such service apply for seniority purposes without restriction.
D. Employees in unclassified positions for less than one year must take competitive examinations to transition to the classified service and all appointments to the classified service shall be permanent.
Note: The Commission revised Rule XI, Section 5B, on April 3, 2003.