To better ensure that its hiring decisions are fair and that employment opportunity is afforded to all eligible candidates, and to minimize employees? perceptions that its practices are compromised by familial relationships or employee favoritism, the appeals board should prepare and formally adopt a comprehensive hiring manual that incorporates the State Personnel Board?s guidelines and that specifically directs hiring managers to do the following:
- Conduct and score hiring interviews using a structured interview format and a corresponding rating scale, and benchmark answers that describe the responses that reflect each level of performance on the rating scale.
-Maintain documentation of each of the steps in the hiring process for at least two years. For example, managers should maintain all applications received from eligible applicants and should preserve notes related to interviews and reference checks.
- Forward a memo to the appeals board?s personnel services unit that documents the results of the hiring process, including the names of the candidates interviewed, the dates of the interviews, the names of the individuals on the interview panel, and the panel?s selection, along with an explanation of why that candidate was chosen. After the appeals board approves hiring the selected candidate, personnel services should maintain this memo for a period of two or more years so that it can demonstrate that the hiring process was based on merit and the candidate?s fitness for the job.
To better ensure that its hiring decisions are fair and that employment opportunity is afforded to all eligible candidates, and to minimize employees? perceptions that its practices are compromised by familial relationships or employee favoritism, the appeals board should before implementing another soft hiring freeze, the appeals board should carefully consider whether the projected budgetary advantages outweigh the risk that it may not hire the strongest and most qualified candidates during any such freeze.
The appeals board should rescind its recently adopted, but legally unenforceable, policy that prohibits hiring a board member into any civil service position at the appeals board for a period of one year from the last day of that individual?s term as a board member. Likewise, it should not enforce its new nepotism policy against persons not presently employed by the appeals board. Because both of these policies affect persons outside of the organization, the appeals board should submit new versions of these regulations to the Office of Administrative Law for approval.
To ensure that employees understand their right to file either an EEO complaint or grievance, and to reduce any associated fear of retaliation, the appeals board should notify employees annually of its EEO complaint process and grievance process, including the protections from retaliation included in both. For example, the appeals board should remind employees that they could pursue either EEO complaints or grievances with certain outside entities, especially if they believe they may have been retaliated against.
In January 2009 the appeals board issued a memo to all employees informing them of the EEO complaint and grievance process. The memo also notified employees that the appeals board had updated its intranet site to contain more detailed information about these processes, including the policy statements, a list of EEO counselors, and complainant rights. Finally, the appeals board reports that it provided EEO and grievance training in January 2009, and placed a copy of the training curriculum on its intranet site. (See 2010-406 p. 62)
To ensure that employees understand their right to file either an EEO complaint or grievance, and to reduce any associated fear of retaliation, the appeals board should update its employee handbook to better emphasize these
processes and procedures.
To ensure that employees understand their right to file either an EEO complaint or grievance, and to reduce any associated fear of retaliation, the appeals board should consider conducting training in this area on a periodic basis.
To ensure that employees are reimbursed only for appropriate and authorized travel expenses, the appeals board should strengthen its travel policies and procedures by requiring supervisors to preapprove employees? travel plans and to subsequently review their travel expense claims to ensure that all travel is in the State?s best interest. In addition, it should update its travel manual to provide guidance to employees on how to properly designate their headquarters location. Furthermore, the appeals board should ensure that employees are reimbursed only for those lodging costs that comply with Personnel Administration?s regulations.
In addition, the appeals board should review travel?related payments it made to its former executive director from the date of his appointment as executive director/chief administrative law judge in November 2000, to determine whether those payments were reasonable and allowable. To the extent that the appeals board identifies travel reimbursements that do not comply with regulations established by Personnel Administration, it should seek recovery from the former executive director.
The appeals board should develop and implement procedures to ensure that its paid parking spaces are used only for authorized purposes, and that employees are not inappropriately using them to park their privately owned vehicles at their headquarters.
In January 2009 the appeals board issued new employee parking procedures to ensure that its paid parking spaces are only used for authorized purposes. In addition, the appeals board reports that it subsequently cancelled most of its paid parking spaces. (See 2010-406 p. 64)
The appeals board should take steps to resolve the discrepancies between the IT equipment identified in its survey results and its asset management records.
The appeals board reports that the statewide physical inventory of all its IT equipment was completed on December 30, 2009. The appeals board asserts that, with few exceptions, inconsistencies between the physical inventory and its asset management records were resolved. In addition, the appeals board states that it is in the process of assigning all IT equipment to the IT unit, which will then be tracked using a new electronic IT asset management system. (See 2010-406 p. 65)
Agency responses received after June 2013 are posted verbatim.