Civil Service Commission Terminology

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Civil Service Commission Terminology Powered By Docstoc
					            Civil Service Commission Terminology

You may see or hear the following terms in CSC documents, meetings, hearings and

Alternative Dispute Resolution- A opportunity for parties to discuss and resolve an issue
    through the City’s mediation program.

Appeal- A request for the Civil Service Commission to review and change or modify a disciplinary
   decision or personnel action.

Appellant-The person asking the Commission to review a decision or action.

Brief- A written line of reasoning or a written summary of a position or issue. A brief may be
    requested to state, clarify or explain an issue or position.

Close of Record-The end of the appeal-hearing process, and after both sides have finished
   presenting their case and information.

Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA)- An agreement between the City of Seattle and one of
    its unions.

Decision-The Commission’s or Presiding Officer’s ruling after considering the facts and all
   relevant laws, rules, policies and procedures.

Demotion- Moving an employee from a current position to a classification with a lower maximum
   salary for cause.

Discharge- Removing an employee from employment for cause.

Discovery- The exchange and sharing of information (record, reports, witness’ lists, and other
   documents) related to the appeal.

Discovery Schedule- The time frame given to parties for collecting and exchanging information
   related to the appeal. Discovery may also include time for the parties to review each other’s

Dismiss-To throw out or put an end to the appeal.

Dismissed with prejudice- The Commission or a Presiding Officer considered the appeal and
   made a decision to dismiss. The case is closed. The employee may not resubmit the

Dismissed without prejudice- The Commission or a Presiding Officer considered the appeal
   and made a decision to dismiss at this time. The appeal may be resubmitted after meeting
   the terms or requirements detailed in the dismissal notice.

Employee- A person in a regular City position on a full or part time basis. This excludes
  temporary and most probationary employees

CSC Terms                                        1
Exempt Employee - An employee who serves at the descretion of the appointing authority.
   Exempt employees may not file appeals with the Civil Service Commission. (“See Seattle
   Municipal Code 4.13 for information on exempt positions.)

Exhibits- Files, reports, performance reviews or other documents or items used to support an

Ex-parte Communication- A conversation or discussion with the Presiding Officer,
   Commissioners, or Commission staff about an appeal outside of the hearing, or at a time
   when all parties are not present. Ex-parte communication may include e-mails and other
   written correspondence. Ex-parte communication does not include questions about hearing
   or appeal procedures.

File (e.g. “ all documents must be filed.”) -Deliver papers or documents. Documents should
be date stamped or have some other notice of receipt.

Final Action– The discipline or personnel action implemented by the Department and stated in a
    letter from the Department Head or the Department Head’s Deputy.

Hearing- A session at which all parties have the opportunity to present their sides of the story
   and any relevant documents or witnesses. Commission hearings are quasi-judicial and
   usually open to the public.

Jurisdiction- The authority of the Commission, as established by rules and laws.

Last Chance Agreement- An agreement between a Department, an employee and the
   employee’s union, if the employee is represented. In the agreement the employee agrees to
   changes in behavior or performance that are required for the employee to remain in his/her
   position. Failure to make the changes usually results in discharge.

Loudermill (or Pre-Disciplinary Action Meeting)- An employee has the right to a meeting to
   present an oral or written statement prior to a disciplinary action that would result in
   suspension, demotion, or discharge. This meeting is a “Loudermill”, named after a court

Motion- A request to have the Presiding Officer make a decision or ruling on an issue related to
   the appeal. The other party usually responds to a motion (“Response to Motion”), presenting
   their position.

Non-Represented Employee- An employee who is not a member of a union and is not covered
   by the terms of a collective bargaining agreement-CBA.

Order- A written decision, directive or command regarding an appeal issued by the Commission
   or its Executive Director, or a Hearing Officer or Examiner.

Party– A participant in an appeal.

Petition for Review-A written request to have a final decision reconsidered.

Pre-hearing conference- A meeting held before the appeal hearing to determine the issue of the
    appeal and to set a hearing date and discovery schedule.

Presiding Officer- The individual assigned or delegated to hear an appeal, by the Commisison.
   This could be a Commissioner, Hearing Officer or City Hearing Examiner.

CSC Terms                                        2
Probationary Employee- An employee who has not completed a one year probationary period in
   the employee’s current classification. Or, a represented employee who has not completed a
   one-year probationary period. (There may be exceptions to this definition.)

Progressive Discipline- Discipline that is on-going and usually begins with a verbal warning or
   written reprimand for the first minor infraction and goes to more severe discipline (i.e.,
   suspension, demotion, or discharge).

Pro-Se- Acting without an attorney, or representing one’s self.

Quasi-judicial- Involves making decisions related to or about law. These decisions are subject
   to review by a court of law.

Record- All official reports, tapes, documentation and other information related to the appeal and

Respondent- The person or department who the appeal is filed against.

Response to Motion-A reply to a ruling or order request, made by the other party. Responses
   give the other party an opportunity to present their side of the issue or argument, or present
   additional facts related to the issue. Appeal responses are usually due within 7 days of the

Regular Employee- An employee who has completed a one year probationary period of

Represented Employee- An employee who is a member of a union and covered by a collective
bargaining agreement.

Serve– To deliver.

Subpoena- An order requiring witnesses to appear or documents related to an appeal be

Suspension- Removing an employee from his/her current position for a specified period.

Transcript- A typed or written record of the hearing. The CSC provides transcripts upon request.
   The requesting party must pay the transcription cost.

Written Reprimand- A written notice of inappropriate behavior, unsatisfactory performance, or
violation of a City rule or regulation. An employee cannot appeal a written reprimand or
reprimand letter to the Civil Service Commission.

CSC Terms                                        3