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Rule 8 - Appointments

Section 8.1 - Appointment after Certification

  1. Upon receipt of a certification of eligible candidates, the appointing authority shall discuss employment with each such candidate available on promotional, open, and freename lists. Upon receipt of a certification of transfer candidates, the appointing authority has discretion to discuss employment with any available candidate, unless otherwise required by County policy or periodic layoff mitigation plans when applicable. (revised 7/1/10)
  2. The appointing authority shall be provided with the applications of each candidate certified and with any additional examination records information, other than confidential records, relating to the certification as he/she may request. He/she may proceed with any job related inquiries he/she may deem necessary to determine the suitability of such candidates.
  3. Upon determination of his/her selection, the appointing authority shall notify each candidate selected. The appointing authority may arrange for a medical examination, and shall designate the time for the candidate to begin work as an employee. Each candidate selected may undergo a medical examination on or before the date of appointment, unless a later date is authorized by the Human Resources Director. (revised 7/1/10)

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Section 8.2 - Provisional Appointments

  1. Whenever it is necessary to fill a vacancy in a position in a class for which fewer than three candidates are eligible for certification and available for employment, the appointing authority may, with the approval of the Human Resources Director, appoint to the position any person who has filed an application and who meets the minimum qualifications for the class.
  2. A provisional appointment shall be terminated within one month after the date of certification to the appointing authority of candidates who are available for employment.
  3. The Human Resources Department shall make every reasonable effort to so schedule examinations that provisional appointments do not exceed six months.
  4. A provisional employee is subject to dismissal at the discretion of the appointing authority.

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Section 8.3 - Referrals for Appointment

Whenever a provisional appointment is planned, the Human Resources Director shall, upon request from the appointing authority, refer to him/her the names and other available information about those persons who appear to meet the qualifications for the class and who have made known their interest in such employment.

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Section 8.4 - Temporary Promotions

  1. When an incumbent of a position is on extended leave, or a position becomes vacant and it is necessary to fill said position, the appointing authority may request the Human Resources Director to authorize him/her to make a temporary promotion from a directly related, lower level job class.  If the temporary promotion is due to a position vacancy and there is no compelling reason to delay permanently filling the said position such as imminent or current fiscal crisis, then the appointing authority shall submit a request for certification within a reasonable amount of time, e.g. within 30-60 days. In no way should the temporary promotion be intended to delay certification for said position in order to augment the probationary period for the classification pursuant to these Rules.   (revised 7/1/10)
  2. The employee temporarily promoted shall meet the minimum qualifications for the higher-level job class as determined by the Human Resources Director.
  3. Candidates for temporary promotion should be selected whenever possible from certifiable candidates on an established employment list. The individual selected does not have future restoration rights to the higher level class as a result of the temporary promotion.
  4. When the incumbent of the higher level class returns to work or is replaced on a permanent basis by another individual from an employment list, the individual promoted on a temporary basis will be returned to his/her former job class.

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Section 8.5 - Extra-Help Appointments

Extra-Help employees are hired for the purpose of relieving or augmenting permanent staff in the accomplishment of work.  Five types of extra-help situations are as follows: (revised 04/18/19)

  1. Temporary extra-help employees relieve or augment permanent staff on a continuous basis for a period not to exceed one calendar year without a substantial break in service (three continuous months). These employees are to be hired from a list established by the Human Resources Department.
  2. Intermittent extra-help employees augment permanent staff when there is a need to maintain adequate work coverage either for short periods of time at regular intervals or for ongoing periods of time at less frequent intervals.  These employees are to be hired from a list established by the Human Resources Department.
  3. Seasonal extra-help employees augment permanent staff by performing duties that are required at certain times or seasons of the year. These employees are to be hired from a list established by the Human Resources Department.
  4. Emergency extra-help employees may be appointed in local emergency situations as proclaimed by the County Administrator due to the existence, or threat of existence, of conditions of disaster or of extreme peril to the safety of persons or property, when it is necessary to prevent stoppage of public business, loss of life, or damage to persons or property, provide urgent aide to the public to restore order, provide food and/or shelter, protect public health, and/or recover from loss of property.  The appointing authority may request the Human Resources Director's approval to appoint any qualified person to assist in the emergency situation without reference to employment lists.  No person so appointed shall be employed longer than 224 days from the date the emergency has been ratified by the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors.  If an emergency extra-help employee is required to work longer than 112 days because the assignment is still needed and related to the emergency, and the assignment’s function would be disrupted by the appointment of a new employee, the appointing authority may request up to a 112 day extension subject to the approval of the County Administrator and Human Resources Director. The Human Resources Director shall submit a report to the Commission of any employee who has been approved to work longer than 112 days. (Rev. 12/4/17) 

  5. Intern extra help employees are enrolled in a specific full-time academic curriculum directly related to the work the Intern performs for the County; or in a formal workforce development program.  An internship is limited to a maximum of thirty-six consecutive months. Interns are to be hired through proceedings approved by the Human Resources Director.

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Section 8.6 - Report of Appointment

All appointments to employment with the County of Sonoma shall be promptly reported by the appointing authority to the Human Resources Director on standard forms prescribed by the Human Resources Director.

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Section 8.7 - Transfers (formerly Rule 10.1)

    1. An employee may be transferred to a position in the same class and within the same department at the discretion of the department head.
    2. An employee may be transferred at any time to a position within the same department in a closely related class having a salary range within a maximum of plus or minus four percent of the employee’s current salary range and for which he/she possesses the minimum qualifications, with the written concurrence of the employee, the department head, and the Human Resources Director. His/her permanent or probationary status shall be determined in accordance with Rule 9. (revised 5/7/98, 7/1/10)
    3. An employee shall be transferred from one department to another department in the same class upon the transfer of the employee's allocated position to another department. Such a transfer shall not affect the employee's probationary or regular status. If an employee cannot be clearly identified as performing the specific duties of the transferred position, and there is no higher seniority volunteer, the employee to be transferred shall be the least senior employee in the affected class in the department.
    4. An employee who is subject to layoff may be transferred to any class in which they possess the minimum qualifications in lieu of layoff within the same department. Such transfer must be offered in an official layoff notice. If the transfer is not to a closely related class, then the employee shall serve a probationary period in accordance with Rule 9.2. (added 7/1/10)
  1. An employee may, in writing, request of his/her department head transfer to a position in the same class or closely related class having a salary range within a maximum of plus or minus four percent of the employee’s current salary range in a different department, to the Human Resources Director. If selected, the employee may be transferred two weeks after notice is given to the employee's present department head. With concurrence of the employee, both department head, and the Human Resources Director, an employee may be transferred at any time. (revised 5/7/98, 7/1/10)
  2. An employee may, in writing to the Human Resources Director, request a transfer to a position in the same class or to a closely related class having a salary range within a maximum of plus or minus four percent of the employee’s current salary range for which he or she meets the minimum qualifications. The request must have a completed performance evaluation at the time of the transfer request attached to the request. If the Human Resources Director approves, the employee's name will be placed on the transfer list for the job class for a period of six months and departments will be notified that the employee is available for transfer. (revised 5/7/98, 7/1/10)
  3. Employees requesting transfer to a closely related class will be notified of their disposition. Closely related classifications will be determined by the Human Resources Director based on the definition and principles of closely related by comparing the classification’s definitions, characteristics, duties, knowledge, abilities and minimum qualifications as well as considering the salary range of the classifications.  (added 7/1/10)
  4. Limited Appeal of Transfer
    1. A regular employee who has served twelve (12) consecutive months in a "specialty assignment receiving premium pay" may appeal in writing, if grounds exist, a transfer out of such specialty assignment to their supervisor before the end of the Change of Work Schedule period provided in the labor contract or Salary Ordinance.  The basis of the appeal shall be that the transfer was primarily for disciplinary reasons. The appointing authority may reassign an employee out of a "specialty assignment receiving premium pay" for up to 10 consecutive weeks for the purpose of training and/or evaluating the employee. No appeal right shall exist during such training and/or evaluation time period.
    2. If the employee is dissatisfied with the supervisor's written decision, the employee shall have seven (7) County business days to appeal in writing the supervisor's decision to the department head.
    3. If the employee disagrees with the department head's written decision, the employee shall have seven (7) County business days to appeal in writing the department head's decision to the Human Resources Director. The Director shall confer with the parties within twenty (20) County business days of receipt of the appeal. This meeting shall satisfy all Skelly requirements, if any are deemed to exist. The Director shall attempt to mediate the dispute between the parties. If no resolution occurs, the Director shall within fifteen (15) County business days of the conference, prepare a report summarizing the issues and recommending a solution in the matter to the parties.
    4. If either party disagrees with the Director's proposed solution, they shall have seven (7) County business days to appeal the matter in writing to the Civil Service Commission. Based on the disputed and undisputed issues and facts identified by the Human Resources Director in the conference with the parties, the Commission shall hold an initial hearing on the appeal. The appeal will be denied summarily unless the employee first proves by a preponderance of the evidence that the transfer was primarily disciplinary in nature.
    5. If the Commission determines initially that the transfer was primarily for disciplinary reasons, the Commission shall then decide at its next regular meeting, based on evidence already or subsequently given, if there was cause, as defined in the Rules, to transfer the employee. The burden of proof shall be on the appointing authority to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that such cause existed.  In each instance, the party that has the burden of proof shall present his/her case first, followed by rebuttal from the other party. The Commission may uphold, modify or rescind the transfer based on its findings.

    For purposes of this section, "specialty assignment receiving premium pay" shall be considered to include additional salary earned by working in a special job assignment or receiving shift differential premium pay.

The foregoing limited transfer appeal procedures shall not take effect until March 15, 1994, as to any case concerning the removal from a specialty assignment of an employee covered by the 1990-94 Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) between the County and the SCSOEA Law Enforcement Nonsupervisory and Supervisory Units and the SCSOEA Corrections and Probation Nonsupervisory and Supervisory Units during the guarantee period specified in Article 8 of both MOUs. "Specialty Assignment" shall have the same meaning as used in Article 8 of those MOUs. (revised 2/1/89, 3/7/90)

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Section 8.8 - Demotions (formerly Rule 10.2)

  1. Voluntary Demotions
    1. Any employee may be demoted voluntarily to a position in a closely related class with a lower salary range and for which he/she possesses the minimum qualifications, or in which he/she previously had permanent or probationary status. Such demotion requires the written request or concurrence of the employee to be demoted and the approval of each appointing authority concerned.
    2. An employee who is subject to layoff may be voluntarily demoted to any class in which they possess the minimum qualifications in lieu of layoff within the same department. Such demotion must be offered in an official layoff notice. If the demotion is not to a closely related class, then the employee shall serve a probationary period in accordance with Rule 9.2. (added 7/1/10)
  2. Involuntary Demotions
    1. A permanent employee may be demoted without his/her written request or concurrence, for any of the reasons and by the procedures provided by these rules for dismissal.
    2. A probationary employee may be demoted, without his/her written request or concurrence, to a closely related class for which he/she meets the qualifications, upon written request by the appointing authority and approval by the Human Resources Director.
    3. Upon demotion, an employee shall assume the same status as a permanent employee or as a probationary employee which he/she had prior to demotion. A probationary employee who is demoted shall be required to complete only the balance of the probationary period.

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Section 8.9 - Return to Civil Service Status

  1. Except as provided below, an employee with permanent civil service status in the classified service who is or has been appointed, without a break in service, as a regular employee in a position in the same department outside of the classified service, shall upon termination from his/her position in the unclassified service, and at his/her request, be returned to his/her previous class in the classified service in the same department. For the purposes of this Rule, termination shall include a mutual decision by the employee and department head to demote/vacate the position. If such class is no longer existent, such employee shall return to the next lower class in the classified service where he/she held permanent status. Displacement shall be based on continuous County service in class, service credit shall be given for continuous time served in the unclassified service. At the time the employee is separated from the unclassified position, the appointing authority shall inform him/her in writing of such return rights. A request for return to the former classified class must be made in writing to the appointing authority within ten (10) regular County business days from the date that the employee received such written notice of the right to make such a request.

    Notwithstanding any other provision of this rule, failure to file a request for return to the former classification within the specified time period shall constitute a nonappealable ground for denying return to the former classified class.
  2. The appointing authority may deny return to the former classified class on the same grounds and in the same manner that would permit the dismissal of the employee from such classified class. An employee whose request for return is denied for reasons other than untimeliness may appeal this denial by the appointing authority to the Civil Service Commission by filing an appeal in accordance with the same procedures and within the same time limits governing an appeal to the Civil Service Commission of a disciplinary action.
  3. The rules and procedures for conducting civil service disciplinary appeals for classified employees shall apply to appeals filed and heard pursuant to this subsection.
  4. For purposes of determining what, if any, compensation or other employment benefit shall be paid to such employee following his/her separation from the unclassified position, and during the pendency of his/her request for return or appeal of a denial of such request, the employee shall be treated as if he/she had been returned to his/her former classified class.
  5. Nothing in this subsection prevents or may be construed to prevent the appointing authority from terminating an employee from the unclassified service at any time with or without notice or with or without cause. Termination of employment from an unclassified class shall not be appealable to the Civil Service Commission.
  6. Elected officials shall have only those return rights provided by State law. (Amendment 002, effective November 4, 1987.)

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Section 8.10 - Return from Recurring Defined Term Position

  1. Except as provided below, an employee with permanent civil service status in the classified service who has been appointed, without a break in service to a recurring defined term position, shall upon termination or upon the expiration of the recurring defined term position appointment, shall at his/her request, be returned to his/her previous class in the classified service in the same department. For the purposes of this Rule, termination shall include a mutual decision by the employee and department head to demote/vacate the position. If such class is no longer existent, such employee shall return to the next lower class in the classified service where he/she held permanent status. Displacement shall be based on continuous County service in class and service credit shall be given for continuous time served in the recurring defined term position. No later than at the time the recurring defined term position expires, the appointing authority shall inform him/her in writing of such return rights. A request for return to the former classified class must be made in writing to the appointing authority within ten (10) regular County business days from the date that the employee  received such written notice of the right to make such a request.

    Notwithstanding any other provision of this Rule, failure to file a request for return to the former classification within the specified time period shall constitute a nonappealable ground for denying return to the former classified class.
  2. The appointing authority may deny return to the former classified class on the same grounds and in the same manner that would permit the dismissal of the employee from such classified class. An employee whose request for return is denied for reasons other than untimeliness may appeal this denial by the appointing authority to the Civil Service Commission by filing an appeal in accordance with the same procedures and within the same time limits governing an appeal to the Civil Service Commission of a disciplinary action.
  3. The rules and procedures for conducting civil service disciplinary appeals for classified employees shall apply to appeals filed and heard pursuant to this subsection.
  4. For purposes of determining what, if any, compensation or other employment benefit shall be paid to such employee following his/her expiration of a recurring defined term position appointment, and during the pendency of his/her request for or appeal of a denial of such request, the employee shall be treated as if he/she had been returned to his/her former classified class. (New Rule added 7-7-05)

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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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