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Rule 3 - Classification

Section 3.1 - Classification of Positions

All positions established by the Board of Supervisors shall be classified and given appropriate class titles upon recommendation by the Civil Service Commission. Each class established pursuant to these rules shall include all positions sufficiently similar in duties and responsibilities to meet the requirements as specified under the definition of "Class." Emphasis will be on broader classifications wherever possible as provided by the above criteria. (1/20/00, revised 7/1/10)

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Section 3.2 - Changes In Classification Or Positions

  1. Whenever a department head proposes that a new position be created or an existing position abolished, he/she shall report the justification therefore, in writing, to the County Administrator with a copy to the Human Resources Director. Should the County Administrator and Human Resources Director concur with the recommended change, the Human Resources Director will direct that a report will be prepared.  The report will be shared in accordance with this Section, Rule E. If the recommendation requires Board of Supervisor approval, a copy of the report and recommendation to the Board of Supervisors shall be furnished in advance to the appropriate employee organization. (revised 7/1/10)
  2. The Human Resources Director may review the classification of any existing position because: of a significant change in the duties and responsibilities of the position, the creation or establishment of a new job class in which such position may more appropriately be classified or because of the abolition or combination of any existing positions or classes. (revised 1/20/00)
  3. Whenever a department head, employee, or employee organization believes that a significant change has occurred in the duties and responsibilities of an existing position, which are outside the duties of the current classification, he/she/it shall report the significant facts in writing to the Human Resources Director, with a copy to the County Administrator and as applicable to the appropriate employee organization. (revised 1/20/00, 7/1/10)
  4. The Human Resources Director shall determine if the requesting party has made a prima facia case for the classification review requested and shall so notify the party who may appeal as provided in Section F. (revised 1/20/00)
  5. If a prima facia case is made, the Human Resources Director will direct that a report will be prepared and shared with the requesting party, as well as the department and the employee organization representing the class, at least ten (10) County business days prior to any Board of Supervisors or Civil Service Commission meeting at which a classification recommendation is being made. If the reclassification action will change the bargaining unit representative of the position, both the current and the proposed representative must be notified as provided in this section.

    Any issues regarding the reclassification of the individual with their position falls under Rule 3.3B. (revised 1/20/00)

  6. Classification Appeal Process
    1. An employee or employee organization representing the class who wishes to appeal the Human Resources Director’s decision and/or staff report and classification recommendations or notification of denial may do so in writing in care of the Human Resources Director within seven (7) County business days of notification. (1/20/00)
    2. The Commission shall hear the appeal and determine if there is sufficient change or difference in the duties and responsibilities of the appellant’s position to justify a reclassification to another class or to require the creation of a new class. (1/20/00)
    3. The Commission shall determine if a classification study should be performed when denied in D above. (1/20/00)
  7. Where the Civil Service Commission finds that there are significant factors which justify a change in classification of a position, it may recommend to the Board of Supervisors that the position be placed in the appropriate class. (revised 1/20/00)
  8. Where the Commission finds that a change in classification is not justified, it shall so inform the department, employee, and/or employee organization. (revised 1/20/00)

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Section 3.3 - Status of Incumbent of Position after change in Classification

  1. When a position is reclassified, it shall be filled through certification from the employment list unless the Civil Service Commission provides for retention of the incumbent in accordance with this section.
  2. The Civil Service Commission may provide that the incumbent of a reclassified position retain the position, provided the incumbent meets the minimum qualifications of the new classification by the effective date of the action which updates the department’s allocation(s). Possible waiver of probation period is covered by Rule 9.5 A (2). (revised 3/15/95, 08/04/16)
  3. When a class or class series is newly established,  incumbents who are reclassified into the equivalent level (e.g. entry, journey, supervisory) of the new class or series (as identified in the classification study and recommendations and approved by the Civil Service Commission) shall be retained in their position upon  reclassification. (revised 8/21/03, 7/1/10))

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Section 3.4 - Class Specifications

For each class or position, the Civil Service Commission shall adopt and maintain written class specifications, which shall include the following:

  1. A definition of the class. The definition shall be a general description of the kind of work performed by employees of the class. It shall not be construed as prescribing or limiting the duties of any employee.
  2. A statement of characteristics which differentiate the class level from other classes with which it is commonly associated. It shall be used with other portions of the class specification to reflect an overall class concept in which work is assigned and performed.
  3. A summary of duties typical of the class, which will illustrate examples of work typically performed. The summary need not include all duties typical of the class. The presence or absence in the class specifications of duties performed in a given position shall not be construed as conclusive evidence of the classification of the position.
  4.   The knowledge and abilities and a statement of minimum qualifications required to perform the duties of the class

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Section 3.5 - Class Qualifications

  1. For each class of positions, the Civil Service Commission shall establish minimum qualifications, which shall be met by each person thereafter newly appointed in the class.
  2. Whenever applicable, any qualifications which may be prescribed by law for any class of positions shall be met in the qualifications established by the Civil Service Commission, and shall govern in the absence of such establishment by the Commission.

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Section 3.6 - Use of Class Titles and Working Titles

The official class title of each position shall be used in all official personnel and fiscal records, and in all official personnel transactions. However, department heads are encouraged to assign other appropriate working titles which do not conflict with official class titles.

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Section 3.7 - Temporary Classifications

Temporary classifications may be created by the Human Resources Director if all of the following conditions are present:

  1. the temporary classification would, if permanent, be categorized as administrative management;
  2. there is no closely related administrative management classification in existence at the time;
  3. an employee in another administrative management classification has been or shortly will be assigned the duties covered by the temporary classification; and
  4. the purpose of the temporary classification is to permit the immediate temporary assignment of such administrative management employee into such classification.

In creating a temporary classification, the Human Resources Director shall also prepare a class specification containing the information required under Section 3.4 of these rules.

The duration of a temporary classification shall not exceed 180 days without the authorization of the Civil Service Commission, which may extend it for additional periods of up to 180 days each. (8/4/93)

Time served in a temporary classification shall be treated in the same manner as time served in any other classification to which an employee may be temporarily promoted.

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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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