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Rule 11 - Layoffs

Section 11.1 - Order of Layoff

  1. Employees shall be subject to layoff whenever their positions are abolished or whenever necessary because of lack of work or lack of funds.

    Layoff procedures shall be applied on a departmental basis. Where appropriate, after meeting and conferring with the recognized employee organization which represents the affected employees, the Human Resources Director may authorize that layoff procedures be restricted to employees of one or more divisions or smaller units of a department.

  2. Whenever it is necessary to layoff one or more employees in a department, division or unit in which there is more than one employee in the class in which the layoff is necessary, employees in the affected class shall be laid off in the following order:
    1. Extra help employees as defined in Rule 1, and provisional employees.
    2. Probationary employees.
    3. Full-time and part-time employees with permanent status in the class. (revised 11/1/12)
  3. Continuous County service in the class in which the layoff occurs (the affected class) or in any other class having at the date layoff notice is served the same or higher salary allocation shall be counted as service in the affected class.
  4. Employees with less total continuous County service in the affected class shall be laid off before those with greater total continuous County service in the affected class. Continuous part-time service shall be calculated based on the position’s allocation in its relationship to full-time work and also be prorated on an hour-for-hour basis for all hours worked in excess of the position’s allocation.   Time spent on a leave of absence, paid or unpaid, is considered service for seniority accrual purposes according to their position allocation. Time served in a temporary promotion in which the employee is appointed to the position without a break in service between the temporary promotion and the permanent appointment shall be counted as time served in the classification. (revised 11/1/12)
  5. If employees have the same total continuous County service in the affected class, then the criteria to break the tie shall first be total continuous County service irrespective of class, second, prior total County service, and third, chance (e.g. lottery). When departments are hiring multiple employee’s into the same job class in which the newly hired employees do not have prior continuous or prior County service, and if a future layoff would then require a “chance” process to determine the affected employees, then departments shall conduct the chance process to determine the affected employee(s) within the first 30 days of appointment to determine and document the affected employees in the event of future layoffs.  (revised 11/1/12)
  6. Social Service Workers III and Social Service Practitioners who have become Social Service Workers IV shall carry into that new classification, the seniority which they had in their former classification.
  7. A full-time or part-time employee appointed to a class with a Project or Limited Term designation by job classification (ex: Programmer Analyst - Project) may be exempted by the Human Resources Director from the order of layoff of the affected project or limited term class based on a continuing need for a specialized technical skill/skill mix combination. Such skill/skill mix shall have been determined by a written plan (project or recruitment/certification) prior to filling the position as an essential function inherent to the overall purpose of the job. The incumbent(s) must have been appointed based on the required specialized technical skill/skill mix. (revised 3/5/97)
  8. After September 1, 1998, no extra help hours will be counted toward seniority for layoff, displacement or restoration. After September 1, 2002, no extra help hours, regardless of when accumulated, will be thereafter counted toward seniority for layoff, displacement or restoration. (revised 11/19/98)
  9. Employees placed (pursuant to Rule 3.3C) into the equivalent level (e.g. entry, journey, supervisory) of a newly established class or class series, shall carry into the new classification, the seniority which they acquired in the classification held immediately prior to reclassification. If employees reclassified under rule 3.3C on the same date and to the same classification have the same accrued hours in the class held immediately prior to reclassification, seniority shall be determined pursuant to Rule 11.1E. (revised 8/21/03, 7/1/10, 5/4/17)

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Section 11.2 - Alternate Classes

For purposes of layoff and/or displacement, alternate classes shall be treated as one class such that continuous County service in one alternate class shall be considered as service in each of the other alternate classes in the same class series and shall be counted cumulatively.

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Section 11.3 - Displacement

  1. An employee who is laid off and who has greater total continuous County service than another employee in the same department in another class with the same or lower salary allocation in which class the employee previously had permanent or probationary or part-time status and for which the employee is qualified for certification, transfer or voluntary demotion, may elect to displace the junior employee with the lesser total continuous County service. An employee who is displaced shall be laid off and replaced by the employee who displaces him/her.
  2. An employee who is displaced because of layoff may in the same manner displace an employee who is junior to him/her.
  3. Should an employee have the right to displace in more than one class, the employee shall first displace in the class with the highest allocated salary.
  4. An employee who was transferred with a position reallocated from one department to another department may, upon layoff from the second department and if eligible under the conditions stated in subparagraph A. above, exercise displacement rights in the first department.
  5. A permanent full-time or part-time employee who is laid off and who has greater total continuous County service than another employee in the same department in the same job class with a project designation (ex: Programmer Analyst, Programmer Analyst - Project), may elect to displace the junior employee in the project designated class. Should the junior employee in the class possess a required specialized technical skill/skill mix not possessed by the laid off employee, the next most junior employee in the project class shall be displaced.(revised 3/5/97)
  6. Employees placed (pursuant to Rule 3.3C) into a newly established class series shall have displacement rights within the newly established series to the levels (e.g. entry, journey, supervisory) equivalent to those held in the former series. If an employee reclassified under Rule 3.3C has displacement rights to both the newly established class series and the former class series, the priority for displacement shall be within the new class series in accordance with Rule 11.3 A, B and C. (added 5/4/17)
  7. Employees retained into a class (pursuant to Rule 3.3B-C) in which the class or class series was retitled, shall have displacement rights to the retitled class or the equivalent level in the class series. (added 7/1/10)
  8. If an employee held a classification that was reclassified after he/she left that classification, the employee will have displacement rights to the newly titled class (or the equivalent level in the class series), provided the following criteria is met:
    1. the employee held permanent or probationary status in the class that was subsequently retitled/reclassified; and
    2. the newly titled class or class series' purpose, scope, complexity, duties, and knowledge and abilities did not significantly change (as identified in the classification study and recommendations and determined by the HR Director); and
    3. the salary range for the newly retitled class or class series did not change; and
    4. the employee held the former class up to five years prior to the date of the reclassification; or
    5. the employee currently holds a position that is either a higher level in the new class series or is a logical career progression within the department’s organizational structure. (added 7/1/10)

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Section 11.4 - Restoration

  1. Each person who has been laid off or displaced from, or who has in lieu of layoff been demoted or transferred voluntarily from a position which the employee had permanent or probationary status is eligible for restoration and shall be placed on a restoration “list” for the position and department  for two years after the effective date.  (revised 11/1/12)  

    An individual, who has restoration rights in more than one class because of layoff or displacement, shall have restoration rights in each of the classes from which the employee was laid off or displaced.

    Employees laid-off from a project or limited term position have restoration rights for the specific project for which they were hired.  Restoration rights shall not exceed the duration of the project or 24 months immediately following layoff, whichever is lessor. (revised 3/5/97)

    Employees laid‑off from a recurring defined term position shall have restoration rights for the duration of the specific term to which they were appointed, as set forth within their job specifications. Restoration rights shall not exceed the duration of the specific term as set forth within the job specifications. (revised 7/7/05)
  2. Whenever more than one person has been laid off and/or displaced in the same class in the same department, the order of restoration shall be in the reverse of the order of layoff.
  3. If an employee on the restoration list accepts a position in a job class with a probationary period and is subsequently released from probation, and the return to their former position creates a layoff, causing the employee to be laid off as the individual with the least seniority in the affected class, the employee’s effective date on the restoration list will be based on their most recent layoff date, but they shall maintain their original order of placement on the restoration list in relation to any employees with the same original layoff date. (added 11/15/18)
  4. If an employee was laid off or displaced from, or who has in lieu of layoff been demoted or transferred voluntarily from a position who had prior permanent or probationary status, but was not able to elect displacement, the employee shall be placed on the restoration list for the “skipped” job class(es) for two years after the layoff effective date.  The employee shall be placed on the restoration list(s) behind any employees who have been placed on the restoration list as stated in 11.4 B.  (added 11/1/12)  
  5. If the County determines to fill, within two years, a vacant position in a job classification and department from which an employee was laid off or displaced, the County shall offer restoration to the individual who is in the highest position on the restoration list for the respective job classification and department.  The County shall make a reasonable attempt to notify an individual who is eligible for restoration including in writing by certified mail, return receipt requested.  If an employee cannot be reached within 20 calendar days from the date of mailing of notice of offer of restoration, the right to restoration shall be forfeited.  Should an employee not accept restoration within 5 regular County business days after the receipt of the offer or should the employee decline to begin work within 15 regular County business days after the receipt of the offer, the employee shall be declared unavailable and shall forfeit right to restoration unless further offer of restoration is granted by the Civil Service Commission. (revised 7/1/10, 11/1/12)
  6. An employee eligible for restoration has the right to waive a restoration offer to a vacant position in the classification out of which the employee was laid off or displaced under the circumstances described in (1), (2), and (3) below.
    1. An employee is removed under this Rule 11, Section 11.1 from a part‑time position.  A full‑time position in the classification becomes vacant and available for restoration.  The County offers restoration to the employee. The employee may waive the restoration offer.
    2. An employee is removed under this Rule 11, Section 11.1 from a full‑time position.  A part‑time position in the classification becomes vacant and available for restoration.  The County offers restoration to the employee.  The employee may waive the restoration offer. If the employee, under either (1) or (2), above, waives the restoration offer, the County may fill the position.  The employee who waives the restoration offer will remain on the restoration list for that classification for the balance of the two years restoration eligibility.  The employee must exercise this waiver right under this subsection B.(2) within the same 5 regular County business days standard in subsection B.(1) above.  The employee's waiver must be in writing in order to be valid.
    3. Two employees previously "job shared" a position and were both removed under this Rule 11, Section 11.1.  If a vacant position in that classification becomes available for restoration and the County desires to restore that position, it shall either:
      1. make a restoration offer based on the same job sharing allocation to both of the two employees who occupied it, or
      2. determine that the position needs to be filled on a full‑time basis and make a restoration offer to the most senior of the two eligible employees.  Each of those employees may exercise the restoration waiver option in B.(1) above.
  7. If an employee has restoration rights in more than one class, refusal to accept restoration in one class does not eliminate the right to restoration in the other class or classes. 
  8. Whenever a person is unavailable for restoration in the same class in the same department, the next senior person who is eligible for restoration shall be offered restoration in the same manner and under the same conditions. Should there be no person eligible and available for restoration, the position shall be filled by the County.
  9. A person who has forfeited for restoration may, within 10 regular County business days after forfeiture, request in writing to the Civil Service Commission that the employee be considered for further offer of restoration, should such occur within one year after layoff or displacement.  The employee's request shall contain a full explanation of the reason for the employee's unavailability.  Within 30 calendar days after the request is filed, the Commission shall either grant or deny the offer for restoration.  The Commission may specify conditions under which further offer of restoration may be granted.

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Section 11.5 - Appeals

  1. The Civil Service Commission shall act as a separate and final hearing body for layoff appeals for all employees who have appeal rights.

    Within the provisions of Rule 11, Section 11.1, Layoff, part-time and full-time employees have right of appeal to the Civil Service Commission; temporary and provisional employees affected by layoff or actually laid off do not have a right of appeal for any action taken under these layoff rules.
  2. Implementation of a layoff decision may be appealed by an employee laid off; however, the decision to layoff may not be appealed.
  3. Any formal written notice to a part-time or full-time employee stating that the employee is subject to layoff or layoff resulting from displacement may be appealed as follows:
    1. Within ten (10) regular County business days from the date of the receipt of the notice, an employee may, within the provision of Section 11.5 B, appeal in writing, the action to the Human Resources Director.
    2. Within seven (7) regular County business days after receiving the appeal, the Human Resources Director shall give a written decision to the employee.
    3. If the employee is not satisfied with the decision in C.(2) above, the employee may, within seven (7) regular County business days after receiving the decision, appeal the decision in writing to the Civil Service Commission.
    4. The Civil Service Commission shall review an appeal resulting from C.(3) above at its next scheduled meeting.
  4. This review and appeal procedure which applies to layoff and displacement action in no way supersedes restoration appeal procedures set forth under Section Rule 11.4 E.

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Section 11.6 - Competing in Examinations, Employment Selection Process after Layoff

Employees who are separated from County service due to layoff and who have applied to County positions on or before to the layoff effective date may continue to compete in the examination/selection process, be placed on the employment list(s) if successful in the examination process, and continue to be certified, provided the employment list is either active or reinstated pursuant to Rule 6.10. County service points will still be applied to final examination scores pursuant to Rule 6.4 A (3) regardless of the employee no longer holding an allocated position.  Employees who have been separated from layoff do not qualify to compete in promotional examinations but may have opportunities to be re-employed pursuant to Rules 6.8 and 11.4. (Added 7/1/10)

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Contact Information

Marissa Georges
Executive Secretary
Civil Service Commission
Human Resources Department
County of Sonoma
Business Hours
Monday – Friday
8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Address
Sonoma County Administration Building
575 Administration Drive
Suite 116B
Santa Rosa, CA 95403
38.464975, -122.725632

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Rule 11 - Layoffs

Recruitment and Classification Analysts assist departments with layoff administration.

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