Civil Service (M.G.L. c. 31)
The employment of public employees in Massachusetts is governed by the Massachusetts Civil Service laws. The laws govern primarily the selection of employees for hire, promotion, probation, leave of absence, layoff, suspension, termination and reinstatement.
- Each original and promotional appointment to a civil service position is made after certification from an eligible list established as the result of a competitive examination administered by the Massachusetts Department of Personnel Administration.
- When an appointing authority wishes to make either an original or promotional appointment, it so notifies the Department of Personnel Administration and receives the most recent certification of names.
- If an appointing authority makes either an original or promotional appointment from a certification of any person other than the person whose names appear highest on the list and that person is willing to accept such appointment, the appointing authority must file with the Department of Personnel Administration a statement of its reasons for appointing the person whose name was not highest. The person so bypassed by the appointing authority may appeal to the Civil Service Commission the adequacy of the reasons given.
- The probationary period for permanent full-time employees is normally six months.
- Permanent employees separated from service because of lack of work, lack of money or abolition of position must be separated according to their departmental seniority.
- A tenured employee cannot be suspended for a period of more than five days or terminated without just cause and without first receiving from the appointing authority written notice of the action contemplated; the reasons for the action contemplated; a copy of the relevant civil service statutes; and a full hearing.
- A civil service employee may be suspended for just cause for a period of five days or less without a hearing prior to such suspension.
- Within 24 hours of imposing such a suspension, the appointing authority must provide the employee with the reasons for the suspension; a copy of the relevant civil service statutes; and notice that the employee may within 48 hours file a written request for a hearing before the appointing authority.
- If the appointing authority decides after the hearing that there was just cause for the action taken, the employee may appeal the decision to the Civil Service Commission within 10 days after receiving written notice of the decision.
- Permanent employees separated from service because of lack of work, lack of money or abolition of position must be reinstated according to their departmental seniority. such employees must be reinstated prior to the appointment of any other applicants.