Frequently, employees believe they are performing job duties that are beyond their designated classification warranting a reclassification to a different (typically higher paying) classification.
The City of Stockton maintains an Administrative Directive (HR-52) setting forth its policy concerning reclassification requests.
Civil Service Promotional Process
All employees should be assigned to the proper position in the City of Stockton’s Classification Plan. No employee should be permitted to work out of class without appropriate authorization and compensation.
It must be remembered that promotional opportunities in the City of Stockton are recruited and filled by competitive civil service examination rather than gradual accretion of higher level duties followed by reclassification to a higher paying job to the exclusion of other interested and qualified candidates.
SCEA and the City have a shared interest in seeing that all City employees have a fair opportunity to compete for promotions, and to inhibit supervisors or managers from making promises of “grooming” a particular person for a promotion. Therefore, each request for reclassification will be evaluated against this important policy goal.
Reclassification requests are not intended to provide a back-door pathway to promotion without a competitive examination. They are intended to apply to the position and not the incumbent occupying the position, and only when material and permanent changes have been made to the duties and responsibilities of the position.
Making the Request
A reclassification request can be made by the employee only with the concurrence of either the department head or SCEA, and only applies to employees who have completed their probationary period and attained regular status. An individual employee cannot make a reclassification request without approval of the department head or SCEA.
Timing of the Request
Reclassifications requests must be made to the Human Resources Department in March of each year, and evaluated, approved, or denied by December 31 of that same year.
In March, the employee must route a written request for reclassification through his or her department head to the Human Resources Department. The request must include the basis for the reclassification request, including:
- The nature and scope of changes in the duties and responsibilities;
- The approximate date the position began performing the higher level duties and responsibilities;
- The circumstances that led to the assignment of higher-level duties and responsibilities to the position;
- The level of increased knowledge, skills, and abilities required to perform the job functions; and;
- Effect of action on departmental budget.
After the employee’s request is received, the Human Resources Department will forward to the employee a Job Analysis Questionnaire (JAQ) to complete. The employee’s supervisor or manager will be asked to state whether he or she agrees or disagrees with the accuracy of the JAQ.
Human Resources will analyze the request and the JAQ, which may include a “desk audit” of the employee’s work, which means observation or a “ride-along” of the employee’s workday. Human Resources will then forward its recommendation to the City Manager, who has final authority.
Each case is different. Remember that just because a job duty was previously performed by an employee occupying a higher level classification does mean that job duty can only be performed by an employee at that level. You must look at the distinguishing characteristics of your own job description and others to discern whether job duties are truly higher level duties, or beyond the scope of the job description, or fall within the scope of your own job – even if you have never performed those duties before. Also, you must consider how much time you are spending performing duties related to one or more of the distinguishing characteristics in the other job description.
SCEA members may appeal the modification or denial of a reclassification request to the Civil Service Commission, who shall investigate the matter in accordance with chapter 2 of the Stockton Municipal Code and the Civil Service Rules and Regulations for Miscellaneous Employees. The effect of the Commission’s action shall be final and there shall be no appeal therefrom.
If you have questions about reclassification requests or your appeal rights, contact the labor and employment attorneys at Rose Law, or the SCEA director or shop steward in your region.