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  1. I have a vacant position. What do I do to fill the position?
  2. One of my employees has told co-workers that he plans to retire at the end of next month. What can I do to be able to fill the vacancy upon the employee's retirement?
  3. One of my employees is seriously ill. We do not expect him to be able to return to work for several months. Can I fill the position now? Or do I have to hold the position vacant until the employee ends his employment with GSD or is able to return to full duty?
  4. How long does it normally take to fill a vacancy? What can I do to expedite the process?
  5. Is there a hiring freeze in place? If yes, what is the procedure to "unfreeze" a vacancy so I can fill it?
  6. I have interviewed all of the available candidates certified from the Civil Service list to fill my position. None are acceptable. Can I make an emergency appointment to fill the vacant position?
  7. What other options do I have to fill a vacant position other than certification of an eligible list?
  8. Are there selection procedures other than interviews, or in addition to interviews that would be more appropriate to select an employee for my vacancy?
  9. What is required to get approval to make an emergency appointment?
  10. Are new employees screened in terms of any criminal history, physical/emotional work restrictions, or previous work history?
  11. What happens if the employee I select is unacceptable because of work restrictions that cannot be accommodated, a criminal history or poor work history?
  12. If the medical director places work restrictions on the employee, who decides if that restriction can be reasonably accomodated or not? How is this done?
  13. Are affirmative action hiring goals and quotas legal?
  14. Who gives final approval for selection, and makes job offers?
  15. I think I have a position, but GSD Personnel does not agree. Where can I confirm my position authorities (get an audit of positions)?
  16. An employee in another division in GSD wants to transfer to my vacant position. Who has to approve that transfer?
  17. What is the difference between "transfer" and "reassignment"?
  18. Who approves transfers between departments, including "tentative" transfers?
  19. What is GSD's policy on approving tentative transfers to other departments?
  20. What is a "108 Transfer" or transfer under Charter Section 108?
  21. Can a "108 Transfer" be tentative like with other transfers?
  22. Do I need to go through a recruitment and selection process (with scoring sheets) just to transfer an employee from another department to fill my vacancy?
  23. I have a vacancy at a higher "paygrade." What is the process to fill the vacancy at the higher paygrade?
  24. What are the different types of position authorities (regular, substitute, as-needed, interim or resolution)? When do we use these different types of authorities?
  25. What is meant by "As Needed" authority? Who needs to approve an "As Needed" authority?
  26. What is a "Substitute" authority? How do I get approval for a substitute authority?
  27. Can I hire an employee in one job class and place her in a position in a different job class ("in lieu")?

I have a vacant position. What do I do to fill the position?
Complete a form, of course! The form is called Request to Fill Vacancy. Blank copies of the form are available in your division headquarters or from Personnel Services. The form needs to be completed and approved by your division manager before forwarding to Personnel Services.

Make sure you provide as much information as you can on the form, especially the part asking for what you want Personnel Services to do to fill the position (recruit for transfer, certify the eligible list, both).

One of my employees has told co-workers that he plans to retire at the end of next month. What can I do to be able to fill the vacancy upon the employee's retirement?
If you are sure that the employee will retire, fill out the Request to Fill Vacancy and process it through your division manager to Personnel Services. Let's at least get the ball rolling to fill the position quickly, but we cannot actually fill the position until the effective date of the retirement.

One of my employees is seriously ill. We do not expect him to be able to return to work for several months. Can I fill the position now? Or do I have to hold the position vacant until the employee ends his employment with GSD or is able to return to full duty?
Tough questions. There are several possible answers. Contact your Liaison Personnel Analyst in GSD Personnel Services to discuss possible options available to you, depending on the specific circumstances.

For example, we may want to try to modify duties until he can return to regular duties. Or, we may want to clarify the possibility that the employee may NOT be able to return in the near future so that, if true, we can recommend that the General Manager approve a "temporary position" (substitute or as-needed) to allow hiring another employee to do the work. The division manager may need to consider prioritizing, and temporarily reassigning employees to cover the work of the ill employee-until he returns or the position can be filled.

How long does it normally take to fill a vacancy? What can I do to expedite the process?
There may be exceptions, but generally emergency appointments, transfers and reassignments can take place in as little as two weeks. Be careful with reassignments. Often MOU's require notification to the employee well in advance of the effective date of the reassignment.

Appointments from Civil Service eligible lists take longer. If promotional, an appointment can be made in 6-8 weeks if all goes smoothly. Appointments from open eligible lists take much longer, usually because of the medical examination.

To reduce delays in filling vacancies from Civil Services lists, anticipate vacancies, research the quality and life of the Civil Service list, and work with Personnel Services to confirm the selection process and schedule.

Remember, if the position is new and being reviewed by the City Council for authorization, you should also be working with Personnel Services to have the position allocated by the Civil Service Commission. The Council may approve a position, but you cannot fill it until it is allocated (given a proper class title) by the Civil Service Commission.

Is there a hiring freeze in place? If yes, what is the procedure to "unfreeze" a vacancy so I can fill it?
At this time there is no hiring freeze. However, the General Manager, Council or Mayor can impose a hiring freeze at anytime. If a hiring freeze is implemented, our Personnel Office will coordinate requests for excemptions in accordance with procedures established by the General Manager, the Council, Mayor or CAO. Until a frozen position is unfrozen, it cannot be filled through transfer or appoinment from an eligible list.

I have interviewed all of the available candidates certified from the Civil Service list to fill my position. None are acceptable. Can I make an emergency appointment to fill the vacant position?
No. While there are available eligibles on the Civil Service list we cannot make emergency appointments. If you do not want to appoint any of the eligibles, contact your Liaison Personnel Analyst for some other alternatives.

What other options do I have to fill a vacant position other than certification of an eligible list?
Options include, transfer from another department, emergency appointment, reassignment within GSD or within the division, or placement of an employee in a lower level to fill the vacancy on an "in lieu" basis

 For assistance and more information on methods for filling a vacancy, contact your Liaison Personnel Analyst in Personnel Services.

Are there selection procedures other than interviews, or in addition to interviews that would be more appropriate to select an employee for my vacancy?
There are a number of options to select employees in addition or in place of interviews. We can review applications and check references. We can have the applicants perform some work (writing exercise, critique a schematic, etc.) for our evaluation. Or, we can use a combination of these options with or without an interview.

 The key is to make sure that the selection procedure is job-related.

What is required to get approval to make an emergency appointment?
Filling a position by emergency appointment requires approval by your division manager, the Assistance General Manager over your division, the Department Personnel Office and, in some cases, by the General Manager. The person selected for emergency appointment must be approved by the Personnel Officer, and then by the Personnel Department.

Are new employees screened in terms of any criminal history, physical/emotional work restrictions, or previous work history?
All new employees are required to report convictions on our application forms, and are fingerprinted for criminal background checks. Employees new to the city undergo a medical review (in some cases a medical examination) by the Personnel Department. A review of previous work history has to be made by the supervisor - before a job offer is made.

What happens if the employee I select is unacceptable because of work restrictions that cannot be accommodated, a criminal history or poor work history?
If you hired someone who we find out later has a poor work history - too bad, unless you can show that the employee falsified his application. You can only consider performance and behavior you observe while working for you.

 If you find that the employee has a criminal history or work restrictions, talk with your Liaison Personnel Analyst. The Personnel Officer and General Manager need to determine if the criminal history is unacceptable for the position, or if the work restrictions can be accommodated.

If the medical director places work restrictions on the employee, who decides if that restriction can be reasonably accommodated or not? How is this done?
See above. Staff of Personnel investigate and report on job duties and the ability to reasonably accommodate restrictions. The Personnel Officer (on behalf of the General Manager) makes final decisions on reasonable accomodations.

Are affirmative action hiring goals and quotas legal?
This is a question best answered by the City Attorney. Generally, goals are considered legal while quotas are illegal unless imposed by a federal or State Court. But goals can also be illegal if employment decisions are made, even in part, on the basis of race, sex, disability, religion, age, etc. Supervisors and division managers should make their selections based on who is most qualified for the position.

There may be cases where more than one candidate is fully qualified. In these cases Personnel Services may want to explore various options.

Who gives final approval for selections, and makes job offers?
The Personnel Officer and his staff.

I think I have a position, but GSD Personnel does not agree. Where can I confirm my position authorities (get an audit of positions)?
Good. You are doing your job if you think you have more or less position authorities than Personnel Services! Take it up with your division manager who will then contact your Liaison Personnel Analyst in Personnel Services. The liaison analyst should be able to track the history of positions to clarify. There have been cases where the Council authorizes a position, but Personnel Services was not notified.

An employee in another division in GSD wants to transfer to my vacant position. Who has to approve that transfer?
This is a reassignment, and it must be approved by both division managers. If the current division manager says "no", it is final.

What is the difference between "transfer" and "reassignment"?
The difference is not important. But, to answer the question, a transfer usually occurs between different departments (same job class) and approved by the employee, both departments and the Personnel Department. A reassignment occurs within the department (same job class) and does not require approval by the Personnel Department. However, reassignments must comply with provisions in labor agreements (MOU's).

Who approves transfers between departments, including "tentative" transfers?
The Personnel Department approves all transfers. Both departments and the employee must approve a "tentative" transfers (six months for employee or new department to rescind the transfer). The employee and the new department must approve regular transfers; the former department is party to the transfer, but approval is not required for regular transfers.

What is GSD's policy on approving tentative transfers to other department? Why?
Unless the transfer leads to a "promotion" to a higher paygrade (or is likely to lead to promotion), GSD does not agree to tentative transfers. Division managers need to be able to quickly backfill the position vacated without the risk that the employee may return. With transfers, the new department has the opportunity to check references, talk to current and former supervisors, and review the personnel file to determine the ability of the employee to perform in the same job class in a different department. There is no need for a "probationary" period during which the employee or the new department can exercise the right to return the employee to GSD.

What is a "108 Transfer" or transfer under Charter Section 108?
A transfer under Charter Section 108 (section 1014 in new charter) is the transfer fo an employee in one job class to another job class without taking a civil service examination and appointment from an eligible list. The employee takes her seniority to the new class. A 108 transfer cannot lead to a promotion (as defined by Civil Service Rules).

Can a "108 Transfer" be tentative like with other transfers?
Yes. A 108 transfer is processed the same as transfers to other positions in the same job class. It can be a regular or tentative 108 transfer. We most likely will agree to a tentative 108 transfer for a GSD employee transferring to different duties in GSD or a different department.

Do I need to go through a recruitment and selection process (with scoring sheets) just to transfer an employee from another department to fill my vacancy?
No, but opening the opportunity up to as many applicants as possible, and using a careful screening/ selection process, will help to make sure we hire the best applicant.

I have a vacancy at a higher "paygrade". What is the process to fill the vacancy at the higher paygrade?
First, contact your Liaison Personnel Analyst in Personnel Services to discuss options. The general principle is that we first offer the opportunity for advancement to current employees in GSD. Next we offer the advancement opportunity to employees in the same or lower paygrades in other departments. Lastly we may offer advancement at the same time the employee is appointed from the civil service eligible list. The Personnel Officer has to approve any exceptions to following these steps.

 The selection process should be the same as for selection from an eligible list; a competitive test of knowledge and ability to perform at the higher paygrade level. Personnel Services will make arrangements for a paygrade advancement, including notification to possible applicants within GSD.

What are the different types of position authorites (regular, substitute, as-needed, interim or resolution)?
Regular position authorities are positions approved and funded by the City Council, usually during the budget process. Substitute positions are unfunded positions that can be activated on a temporary basis when approved by the CAO. As-needed positions are funded in a special salary account but can be activated for special short-term purposes with the approval of the General Manager. Interim and Resolution authorities are positions approved by the Council outside the budget process (usually), may or may not be funded until the next budget cycle.

What is meant by "As Needed" authority? Who needs to approve activation of an "As Needed" authority?
The City Council and Mayor approve, each year, a list of job classes which we can use beyond the regular position authorities. The department can "activate" a position in a job class on the approved list. As needed position authorities are for temporary workload demands or to resolve employment level problems. To activate an as-needed position, the division manager must request approval from his Assistant General Manager and the Assistance General Manager over the Finance Division.

What is a "Substitute" authority? How do I get approval for a substitute authority?
Substitute authorities are similar to as-needed authorities (see above). They are not funded like regular authorities, and require division manager, Assistant General Manager, and Finance Assistant General Manager approval. In addition, the CAO must approve "activation" of substitute authorities.

 Like as-needed positions, substitute positions are usually filled from Civil Service lists or transfer.

Can I hire an employee in one job class and place her in a position in a different job class ("in lieu")?
Yes, as long as the Personnel Officer approves the "in lieu" arrangement, and the employee is assigned duties consistent with the employee's job class, not the class she is in lieu of.

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